Alinea’s Jaryd Hearn Returns to Polo Grill

Chef Jaryd Hearn worked at Polo Grill in 2012 until he was offered a job at Alinea, Grant Achatz’s world-renowned, three-Michelin-star restaurant in Chicago. Now, after five years, he’s back in Lakewood Ranch—drawing upon what he learned at Alinea to craft Polo Grill’s menu. 

“I am interested in the idea that there are no boundaries to food,” Hearn says. At Alinea, he explains, learned to think outside the box. Today he’s sharing a recipe he recently added to the Polo Grill menu: a salad comprised of pickled beets, shallots, strawberries and whipped goat cheese. But there’s a twist—his inspiration for the recipe came from a single ingredient.

“A few months ago I came across an ingredient called Jamaican allspice, and I fell in love with it,” Hearn says. “I created this dish around the spice.”

Pickled Beets, Shallots and Strawberries with Goat Cheese

Courtesy of Chef Jaryd Hearn/Polo Grill

Pickled Beets
8 1/2 cups (2 liters) red wine
2 cups (½ liter) red wine vinegar
1 cup (750g)  sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 1/2 tsp. (18g) salt
5 tsp. (25g) allspice
1 vanilla bean pod
3/4 cup (175g) ice
2 whole large red beets

Place all ingredients except the beets in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn the heat off, cover and steep for 1 hour. Peel the red beets and place inside the red wine liquid. Place the pot back on low heat and cook for two hours, or the beets are tender but not mushy. Turn off the stove, add the ice to the pot and allow the beets to cool in the liquid. Remove the beets and enough liquid to keep them submerged; set aside in a separate bowl. Heat the remainder of the liquid and reduce until a very thick liquid is left. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool at room temperature. The liquid should be like a glaze once cooled.

Pickled Shallots
2 whole shallots
3/4 cup (200g) red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (100g) water
1/8 cup (50g) sugar
2 tsp (10g) salt

Peel and slice the shallots into super thin rings. In a small pot, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Poor the liquid over the shallots and cool them in the fridge.

Pickled Strawberries
4 whole strawberries
Balsamic vinegar

Remove the tops from the strawberries and quarter them. Submerge them in enough balsamic vinegar to cover. Let the berries pickle in the vinegar for 30 minutes, then strain off the vinegar. Reserve the strawberries in the fridge. The leftover balsamic vinaigrette will take on a strawberry note, which you can save and use for future dishes.

Whipped Goat Cheese
1/2 cup (100g) room-temperature goat cheese
1/3 cup (40g) mascarpone cheese
1 tsp (4g) salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip smooth using a whisk.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup (200g) white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (100g) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp (10g) salt

Combine all ingredients with a whisk and reserve at room temperature.

To Finish
Pumpernickel bread
Butter, for toasting bread
French breakfast radishes
Sea salt
Toasted whole caraway seeds
Reserved beet glaze (see recipe above)
Arugula

Cut thin triangle slices from the pumpernickel. Slice breakfast radishes very thin on a mandolin. Dress the arugula in the white balsamic vinegar. Place in a bowl and top with the beets. Sprinkle the beets with the toasted caraway and sea salt to taste.  Place the radishes, pickled shallots and pickled strawberries on top. Dollop the goat cheese on top, as desired. Toast the pumpernickel in a small amount of butter and place on top of the salads. Glaze the salad with a little of the beet glaze and enjoy.