Roasted Red Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Croquette

The color of the beets add festiveness to your Valentine’s Day dinner! This recipe is simple but makes you look like a gourmet chef. Use this salad as a starter or side dish to your home cooked date night. Pair with a glass of Pinot Grigio!

Serves 2-4 people

3-4 beets
good quality extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
chopped hazelnuts (optional)
4 oz. goat cheese log (can be seasoned with herbs)
peanut oil
1 egg

Beets: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets with a small brush to clean off excess dirt. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan, preferably with raised sides to avoid juices dripping on your oven. Roast for 1 hour or more, depending on their size, until a fork or knife is easily able to poke through. Remove from oven and place in the refrigerator still wrapped. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight until completely chilled.

When ready to use the beets, unwrap from foil and peel off skin. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Toss beets in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Keep chilled until you’re ready to plate.

Croquette: Freeze goat cheese log for 10-15 minutes. Once fairly hardened, cut goat cheese log into 1/2 inch disks with a very sharp knife to maintain their shape. Reshape if necessary.

Pour enough peanut oil to cover the pan 1/4 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. Working quickly and watching your oil, dip each goat cheese disk into egg, covering completely, then the breadcrumb mixture. Before frying, test your oil by adding a piece of breadcrumb to the oil. If it bubbles at a moderate speed, it’s ready. Fry the disks for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on a plate with a paper towel.

Plate the cold dressed beets, top with crushed hazelnuts if you’d like, then add a warm goat cheese croquette or two! Buon appetito!

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