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Recipe: Goat Cheese with Beets and White Wine-Dijon Vinaigrette

December 7, 2009

Cooked beets, especially roasted, have vibrant colors showcased by this beautiful recipe.

The sweet, earthy flavor of beets goes so well with salty, tannic ingredients like goat cheese. The American goat cheeses produced by Coach Farms or Laura Chenel, or a Montrachet-style fresh goat cheese, will make a fabulous version of this classic French salad.

The number of beets you need will vary depending on their size.  If you use larger Chioggia beets or golden beets, you may need only one per person, while you may need two or three smaller baby beets per person.

Goat Cheese with Beets and White Wine-Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 4

  • 4 large beets or 8 to 12 small beets, in assorted colors
  • 4 small heads of mâche or 4 cups other baby greens
  • Four 2-ounce rounds Rocamadour or other goat cheese
  • White Wine–Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim off the greens and the root ends of the beets. Rinse the beets and wrap them securely in aluminum foil. Place in a baking pan in the oven and bake until tender when pierced with a skewer, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Remove from the oven, let cool to room temperature, and unwrap. Peel the beets with a paring knife and cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut any beets ends or small slices into julienne to be used as a garnish on the finished plate. Set aside.

Fan an equal number of beet slices around the edge of each of 4 salad plates.  Pile the mâche in the middle and place a piece of cheese in the center of the mâche. Drizzle with vinaigrette and chives and serve immediately.

White Wine-Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the vinegar and mustard in a small mixing bowl. Add enough salt and pepper to dust the surface lightly and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a thin stream, beating until well emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more salt and pepper if necessary.


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