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Oxbow Farm Beet Salad with Marcona Almond Butter & La Tur Bombolino

Cafe Juanita, Kirkland

Chef Holly Smith

La Tur Bombolino

makes about 25 bombolinos


  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • La Tur cheese
  • cooking oil

For the starter, heat the milk up slightly so that it is just warm to the touch, and pour into a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and then mix in the flour. The dough will be quite thick. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.

For the dough, scrape the starter dough into the bowl of a mixer. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, salt and flour, and mix with your hands or spatula until the ingredients are loosely incorporated. This is messy, and again the dough will be rather thick. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until the dough is silky and shiny. This will take at least 5 to 7 minutes, and you will need to scrape down the bowl several times at first.

Scrape the dough off the paddle attachment and form into a rough ball inside the mixer bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down the dough.

For each of the bombolinos, with slightly floured fingers, using about 11/2 tablespoons of the dough, flatten the dough into a small disk about 1/4 inch thick.

Place about 1 teaspoon of the cheese in the center and wrap the dough around the cheese. Pinch the dough together so that it sticks together, and then roll the dough into a small ball. It is very important to make sure the dough is seamless, so that when it cooks, no melted cheese escapes. Repeat until you have as many bombolinos as you have salads. You will have excess dough.

Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees, or heat up 2 inches of oil in a high-sided heavy-bottomed pan. Make sure the oil does not come up past the halfway point of the pan.

Fry bombolinos, only a few at a time, for about 2 to 4 minutes, until golden brown all the way around. You might have to turn them over, as they do tend to float. Drain on a paper towel and serve while warm.

Marcona Almond Butter

  • 2 cups Marcona almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2–3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Place almonds and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth; scrape down the sides of the processor as necessary. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil as needed. Be very careful about how much oil to add, as the almonds will get smoother the more they are processed. Use only as much as needed to achieve a smooth but thick almond paste. Season with cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Place in a container. Will last refrigerated for up to 3 days. Re-season as needed.

Oxbow Farms Beet Salad

  • 1 pound baby beets
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons chives, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • fleur de sel for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tops and tails of beets, and wash.

Place beets in a roasting pan and add enough water to pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the beets. Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Check doneness after about 45 minutes. If a paring knife is able to penetrate the beet very easily, the beets are cooked. Check a few to make sure. If they not ready, recover with foil and place back in oven. Check in 15-minute increments.

Remove from oven and remove foil. Let them sit until they reach room temperature. Do not discard the water. Using a kitchen towel (that you are not afraid to get really messy), peel the skin off the beets. The skin should wipe off very easily. To get off any little pieces of skin you might have missed, rinse in the water they were cooked in. Once all the beets are peeled, discard skins and the water they were cooked in.

Cut beets in quarters or thirds, depending on their size and your preference. Mix gingerly with shallots, chives, oil and vinegar. Add salt to taste.

To serve, smooth about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the almond butter on the plate. Place about 1/2 cup of the beet salad onto the almond butter. Place a freshly fried bombolino on top of the beets and season with a touch of fleur de sel.