Roast Beet and Goat cheese Napoleon salad

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Roasted Beet Napoleon

Roast Beet and Goat cheese Napoleon salad.

I was looking through my cook books yesterday afternoon while the wind storm roared and raindrops fell. I spotted an old cookbook of Wolfgang Puck’s and pulled it out and flicked through the pages. A Roasted Beet Napoleon salad caught my eye. The splendid color of the beet and white goat cheese stacked in perfect layers was a dazzling display of artistry, and I had to make it — a nice vegetarian salad for dinner that we would eat after our Tango class.

I checked the ingredients in the recipe and was delighted that I had everything, with the exception of Hazelnut oil and hazelnuts, so I replaced it with Walnut oil and walnuts. I also used the golden beets I had instead of the red used in the recipe.

I recommend reading through the method thoroughly, a couple of times, something I did not do because  a million other things were happening around the house that needed my attention. I was caught having to do a last minute reduction, poaching and a saute I was not expecting to do.

Timing and precision is everything in this one, and it need’s your full focus and attention. This might be a cinch to you guys out there to make, but I found it tricky. The end result in taste was sublime. The roasted beets are sliced and poached in rice wine vinegar with sugar, and the soft goat cheese log is rolled in a mixture of fresh parsley, thyme and chives with plenty of black pepper. Then it’s sliced and sauted briefly on each side to warm.

We groaned in pleasure with the first bite of this dreamy combination – the smooth velvet beet slice and the creamy French herb goat cheese, dabbed into the Citrus Walnut Vinaigrette drizzled on the plate. It sent a hit of zesty orange that danced in my mouth with the shallots and herbs, and enhanced the delicate flavor of the walnuts. I will make this again. It’s simply divine.

Roast Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Salad

  • 1 1/2 pound of beets, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  •  1 1/2 cup of Arugula
  • 8 oz goat cheese in a log
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped chives
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • (1/4 cup Citrus Walnut vinaigrette)

To make the vinaigrette you will need the following

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp minced thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar                                        
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest                                       
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil 1/3 olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce toasted walnuts

In a medium saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil. Lower to a simmer and reduce until only 1/3 cup remains. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, shallots, thyme, vinegar and orange zest.

slowly whisk both oils until thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Vinaigrette will keep for 1 week in the fridge

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Place beets in a small roasting pan and pour enough cold water to reach about one quarter of the way up the sides of the beets. Cover with foil and roast for about 2 hours, pierce to make sure they are done and cook longer if needed. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. cut each beet into 1/4-inch-thick round slices. cut each slice with a 3-inch round cookie cutter.( you need 10 rounds) cut trimmings and set aside 1/2 cup for garnish.
  3. in a saute pan, bring rice vinegar and sugar to boil. Lower heat to a simmer and poach beet 1 minute per side, then remove with a slotted spatula and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. when ready to assemble, roll the goat cheese in the herbs and pepper and slice into 8 rounds.
  5. In a small saute  pan add olive oil arrange the slices of cheese in the pan and warm slightly, turning them over with a spatula, do this quickly or the cheese will melt. 
  6. assemble the napoleons: place one of the beet rounds on a flat surface and begin to layer. Top with a slice of goat cheese, then a beet round and second cheese slice , another beet round till you have 5 layers of beets and 4 goat cheese.

Carefully cut through the layers dividing into 3 wedges. Repeat with the remaining beets and cheese.

To serve: arrange three of the wedges pointed ends facing out, in a circle in the center of each plate. Toss the arugula in a bit of the dressing and mound on top or at the side of each napoleon. Drizzle one half of the Citrus Walnut Vinaigrette around each plate. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and a few reserved diced beets. Serve immediately. Bon Appetit

Serves 2 as main course.


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