Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beet, Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

Beets. So many people claim that they hate them, but I'm not seeing a lot of evidence to support that claim. Of our vast repertoire of appetizers, this may be one of our all time best sellers and one that we have to run each time baby beets are in season.

We have a vast number of customers who cannot wait for beet season so that they can sample this salad. We made a version of this salad on the weekend for my mystery basket dinner and I heard two people say that they didn't like beets, but that they loved this salad. I have a customer who comes all the way to Virginia from Pittsburgh for this salad. This is the salad about which, as I posted earlier, a customer waxed quite poetic. And of all the TV shows I've done, this is the one that generated the most requests for the recipe.

So, although I hear you claiming that you don't like beets, are you sure you aren't protesting for form?


Hah! There isn't one! ;) Mix diced roasted beets with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette, perhaps some salt and pepper, and you're done.


This is a typical One Block West dish, in that it is very simple and relies utterly on the quality of the ingredients, of which there are precious few.

First, the beets must be small, very fresh, and you should roast them in a medium oven in aluminum foil until you can just pierce them to the center with a knife.

Then, toast the walnuts for maximum flavor.

Your goat cheese must be the best you can find. In the absence of a good local source, we use goat cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company—it is a really solid product.

Ditto for the olive oil and balsamic vinegar from which you make the vinaigrette.

A grate of lemon zest into the beets works wonders. Ditto for a sprinkle of Craisins®.

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