Beet and Goat Cheese Appetizers (Classy!)

Hold me down! Are these beautiful or what??

Image

They are from Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas restaurant, Spago. I’ve been there multiple times, it’s great, as this appetizer/small salad undoubtedly will be. Oh, I adore beets and goat cheese! And if you need something very sophisticated to serve, this recipe fills the bill. Thanks to Saveur for the recipe and the pic, and to reader/commenters for improving the recipe!

Ingredients

5 large red beets, roasted, peeled,
and cut crosswise using a mandoline, into 1⁄4″-thick slices
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
9 – 12 oz. goat cheese, softened
4 tsp. minced fresh chives
4 tsp. minced fresh parsley
2 1⁄2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. freshly ground black
pepper
3⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 tsp. orange zest
1 small shallot, minced
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. hazelnut oil
Kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts

1. Using a 2 5/8″ round cookie cutter, cut out 20 of the beet slices; reserve scraps for another use (like borscht or a salad). In a 12″ skillet, bring rice vinegar and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and, working in batches, cook beet slices, turning once, about 2 minutes. Transfer slices to a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Pat dry and let chill.

2. Stir goat cheese together with the chives, parsley, 2 tsp. thyme, and pepper in a bowl. Chill in refrigerator for 15 min, then roll out between two pieces of parchment to same thickness as beet slices. Refrigerate for another 30 min. Cut out shapes to match those of the beet slices.

3. Bring orange juice to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to 1⁄3 cup, 4–5 minutes. Let cool. Transfer juice to a bowl along with remaining thyme, balsamic vinegar, zest, and shallots. While whisking, drizzle in olive oil and hazelnut oil; whisk until smooth. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper; let chill.

4. To serve: Put 1 beet slice on work surface. Top with a cheese slice, then top with another beet slice. Repeat to create a stack with 4 layers of cheese between 5 beet slices. Make 4 stacks in all. Slice each stack into 4 wedges; transfer to 4 plates. Drizzle vinaigrette over each plate; garnish with nuts. Serve with mixed greens, if you like.

SERVES 4

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