Golden Beet Salad with Warm Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2-2 lb golden beets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 oz (1 cup) fresh goat chevre
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh greens of your choice (we like arugula or baby field greens)
  • 1 tspDijonmustard
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped chives
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Try to get beets that are approximately the same size; this will ensure even cooking.  Preheat your oven to 400º F.  Place the beets (still in their skins) in a shallow baking dish.  Toss them with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add ¼ inch of water to the pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. The roasting time will depend on the size of the beets; if they are very small, begin checking them after about 30 minutes, for larger, check them after about 50. You will know when they are done because they will be tender when pierced with a knife or toothpick. There should be no resistance when removing the knife from the beet. When they are finished, remove them from the oven and let them sit with the foil still covering them for about 15 minutes (this will help the skins steam off).  To peel your beets, remove them from the liquid in the pan and using an old kitchen rag or a paper towel rub the skins. The skin should remove easily as should the stem area.  Trim the roots with a paring knife.  For the vinaigrette combine the mustard, lemon juice, shallot, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until you are ready to assemble the salad.  For the goat cheese, preheat your oven to 275º F. Pour the chopped nuts onto a plate and spread them out evenly. Divide the goat cheese into 4 equal parts. Using your hands, form each part into a small disc shape. Press each disc into the nuts so that the nuts adhere to the goat cheese. Coat all the discs evenly with nuts and place them on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  To assemble the salad, cut the beets into wedges. Toss the beets and the greens in a large bowl with the vinaigrette. Start by adding a very small amount of the vinaigrette and add more if needed. Divide the salad onto four plates. Top each plate with the warm goat cheese cake and serve immediately.

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