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Edibles & Essentials

Red and golden oven roasted beets shine in this fall salad at Edibles & Essentials. The dish, topped with arugula and microgreens, toasted pepitas, and pickled red onions, gets another flavor burst from a warm and creamy goat cheese fritter.  Photo by Pat Eby 

Q • Beets are one of my favorite vegetables, so I’d like to request the recipe for the roasted beet salad at Edibles & Essentials. — David Loeb, Benton Park

A • This showstopper composed salad, as beautiful as it is delicious, hits all the right notes for fall. Chef Matt Borchardt starts with a base of red and golden roasted beet chunks, then tops them with arugula, microgreens, toasted pepitas, curls of pickled red onion and a warm goat cheese fritter.

A maple-vinaigrette dressing unites the sweet earthy beets and spicy arugula. The pepitas lend a bit of crunch and make a nice contrast to the creamy goodness of the goat cheese fritter.

Beets are the main element in this salad. “I’m a fan of truth in menus,” Borchardt says. “Too often a beet salad is a bunch of greens with four or five pieces of beets. Our beet salad is mostly beets with a topping of arugula and microgreens.”

Borchardt’s well-thought-out approach to recipe development reflects how this inventive chef and former culinary school instructor launched his business, Edibles & Essentials, which goes beyond the model of a stand-alone cafe.

Borchardt included a mini-market of scrumptious tinned and packaged gourmet foods, cheeses, sweets, selected wines and craft beers for those who want to pick up fun foods to go for a movie night or a party.

He stocks a small deli case with selections for busy people to enjoy at home. The bakery items at Edibles & Essentials can tempt the most disciplined of diners with sweet treats baked in house, perfect for a coffee break at the cafe or for a special dessert.

Not content to simply wait for customers to come to him, Borchardt took a version of his show on the road with the Essentially Fries food truck that travels throughout St. Louis city and county. “Our fries have always been a customer favorite at the cafe,” Borchardt says. The food truck menu goes well beyond the classic side of fries to offer with taco fries, pulled pork fries, and chili cheese fries available for lunch or for snacking.

Borchardt’s cafe developed a strong local following since he opened his doors four years ago, earning awards and recognition from publications throughout the region. On Oct. 11, Borchardt received a singular award that had more to do with his place in community than his skill at the stove. Edibles & Essentials received 2019 Business of the Year Award for the 16th ward, which is represented by Alderman Tom Oldenburg. “We are so proud of this award,” he says. “Of the 28 businesses honored, only four or five were restaurants. We’ve created a business and a space that is important to our neighborhood.”

Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name and the city you live in to reciperequest@post-dispatch.com.


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