Yesterday I was lucky enough to eat lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
One course consisted, as far as I could tell, of nothing but a selection of lightly cooked baby beetroot and deep-fried shallot rings. Yet the flavours in both vegetables were enormous, so intense that they were enough to carry such an apparently simple dish all by themselves. Furthermore I could easily differentiate between the different varietals of beetroot on the plate, something I don't think I've experienced before.
While no doubt expertly seasoned, the dish was not overly salty: I drank no more water than usual during or after the meal. And since the beetroot were just halved, they cannot have been reduced in any way to concentrate the flavour.
What do high-class restaurants do to their ingredients to promote such incredible flavour? Given the semi-raw state of the beetroot, I can only imagine it's down to selection of the best, most in-season produce. But at the same time I find that hard to believe. What else could be at play here? And where do I have to look in order to find produce of that quality for my own kitchen?