Beets are a love or hate kind of food. Marvin and I both LOVE beets, especially pickled beets. Toby thinks beets taste like dirt and pickled beets taste pretty much like pickled dirt. This salad did not change his mind, which just meant more beets for the rest of us.
Making the layered beet & goat cheese part of this salad is a little more complicated than just tossing roasted beets into some greens, but the work can be done ahead of time and there is a lot of WOW factor with this presentation, which I love. For a special dinner, the prep time is definitely worth the effort… unless Toby is your only guest.
|Beet & Goat Cheese Layered Salad|
- 3 large beets
- 4 cups micro greens or spring greens salad mix
- 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Helpful tools:
- 2 1/2″ or 3″ round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter
- latex disposable kitchen gloves (to keep your hands from staining red)
- Prepare the beet slices. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and cut off green stems. Brush beets with a little olive oil and wrap them in foil. Place wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the beets are tender, approximately 40 to 60 minutes – depending on the size of the beets. Remove the beets from the foil and set aside to cool.
- When the beets are cool, peel them (wear latex kitchen gloves to keep your hands from staining) and slice them into rounds 1/4″ thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 16 round slices. Save the scraps and remaining beets for another use. In a large sauté pan, bring 1 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and, working in batches, cook the beet slices, turning once, about 4 minutes. Transfer cooked slices to a paper towel lined-baking sheet. Pat them dry and chill.
- Prepare the goat cheese mixture: Combine the softened goat cheese with 2 Tbsp. chopped chives (reserve 1 Tbsp. for vinaigrette). Mix well. Cover and set aside.
- Make the vinaigrette. Combine the orange juice with olive oil, 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. chopped chives, and 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill.
- Assemble the beet and goat cheese layers (wear latex gloves to prevent hands from staining red). Place 1 beet slice on a work surface and spread a thin layer of goat cheese of the beet. Top cheese with another beet slice, and repeat to create a stack with 3 layers of cheese between 4 beet slices. Repeat with remaining beet slices to make 4 stacks in all. Slice each stack in half with a thin, sharp knife.
- Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine greens, raisins, and hazelnuts. Whisk the vinaigrette then pour half of it over the greens. Toss gently to combine. Place a pile of greens an a plate or bowl and add two beet stack halves to each plate. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette, and finish with a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.