Beet and Goat cheese Napoleans

I love beets and goat cheese and this is so tasty, easy and light.

Serves 4
5 large beets, roasted then peeled and cut across into 1/4″ slices
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
9 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 freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 small shallot, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
Kosher salt to taste
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
Using a 2 5/8″ cookie cutter cut out 20 of the beet slices. (reserve scraps for another use, like borscht or a salad)
In a 12″ skillet put the rice vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and working in batches, cook beet slices, turning once, for about 2 minutes.
Transfer the slices to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat dry and let chill.
Stir the goat cheese together with the chives, parsley, thyme and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
Bring the orange juice to a boil in a 1 qt saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup, 4 – 5 minutes and let cool.
Transfer the orange juice to a bowl and add the remaining thyme, balsamic vinegar, zest and shallots.
While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and hazelnut oil. Whisk until smooth.
Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper and let chill.
To serve;
Put 1 beet slice on a work surface, spread about 1 tbsp cheese mixture over it. Top the cheese with another beet slice, pressing down so the cheese oozes to the edge.
Repeat to create a stack with 4 layers of cheese between 5 beet slices.
Make 4 stacks in all.
Slice each stack carefully into 4 wedges.
Drizzle some vinaigrette over each plate, garnish with chopped nuts.
You can serve with a little mixed greens if you like

Seared fish with beet, avocado, garbanzo bean and pecan salsa

This is so delicious and light! You can use a firm fish like halibut or even better, a fillet of wild salmon works really well with the salsa. It’s very pretty on the plate as the garbanzo beans turn bright pink!

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6 small diced cooked beets (If you roast your own, season them with salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then cover them with foil and roast at 400 F for 1 hr 20 mins or until tender, then peel them, and allow to cool)
1 x 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
8 chopped scallions
¾ cup pecan pieces, toasted in the oven until browned
1 seeded and chopped red chili
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tsp ground roasted cumin
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put the diced beets into a good-sized bowl. Add the chopped scallions, seeded and chopped red chili, chopped fresh mint, toasted pecans, cumin, lemon juice, balsamic and olive oil.
Mix and season well with salt and pepper. Add more balsamic or lemon juice if you think it needs it.

Season 4 fish fillets and sauté in hot oil over medium high heat on both sides until just done and crispy on the outside then serve on or beside a good dollop of the beet salsa.

Quinoa, beet, feta and caper salad

I had a version of this at Hugos restaurant in Hollywood and absolutely adored the combination of flavors. I rushed home, via the supermarket and immediately made a version of it that is actually better!
I don’t want to dictate measurements too much as you can pretty much improvise.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or chicken broth. (I like to use chicken broth as it gives more flavor)
4 large beets, roasted, peeled and chopped small
finely chopped red onion and scallions
finely chopped raw carrots
1/2 cup raisins
finely chopped fresh Italian parsley and fresh mint
1 tbsp capers, drained, but keep the liquid to use in the dressing.
3/4 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese (or 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese if you prefer)
1/2 cup lightly toasted walnut pieces

cayenne pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
good balsamic vinegar
freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Roast the beets individually wrapped in aluminum foil and a few drops of water per beet so as not to dry out while they’re cooking. They will take about 1 hour or even more. Pierce each foil parcel with a fork or skewer to test they’re cooked, then remove and peel when a bit cooler.
Chop the beets into small cubes.
Cook the quinoa in boiling water or broth for 15 minutes until all the liquid has gone, then put into a large bowl and allow to cool.
Add the chopped beets, chopped onions, chopped herbs, raisins, capers, crumbled feta or blue cheese, walnut pieces and mix well.
Pour in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and season well. Add some caper juice, a little cayenne pepper and mix well.
Leave in the fridge for 1 hour for the flavors to mingle.

Beet ice cream with mascarpone, orange zest and poppy seeds

I have hit an ice-cream phase, due to the oncoming hot weather and am trying all sorts of weird and wonderful flavors.
This one is a beautiful, rich red color, then surprises with a smooth, round slightly sweet beet flavor.
Well worth the effort!
From being on so many food blogs, I noticed some of the authors are now putting out beautiful recipe books, and this recipe came from Jeni Britton Bauer in her book “Jeni’s Splendid Ice creams at home”
featuring over 100 artisanal ice cream/sorbet and gelato recipes.

Makes about 1 quart. You need your Cuisinart 1 qt ice cream maker for this. Worth buying!

Before you do anything else, put the bowl of the Cuisinart ice cream maker in the freezer overnight!

For the roasted beets
2 medium red beets
2 tbsp sugar
Ice cream base
2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2 oz (or 1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
zest of a large orange – use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest in large strips
2 tbsp poppy seeds
extra poppy seeds to garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Wrap the beets in a sheet of foil. bake until soft, about 1 hour or so. let the beets cool slightly, then peel them while they’re still warm. Cut into chunks and puree in the food processor.
Force the puree through a sieve (I used a mouli for this bit)
Combine 1/2 cup of the warm beet puree with the sugar. (Discard any extra beet puree). Set aside to cool

Mix about 2 tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
Whisk the mascarpone, beet puree and salt into a medium bowl until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK –  Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup and orange zest in a 4 qt saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat and boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 -2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

CHILL – gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone mixture and beets until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 1 gallon ziplock freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE – Remove the orange zest and pour the ice cream into the frozen canister. Add the poppy seeds and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container and seal with an airtight lid. Sprinkle with a few poppy seeds to garnish and freeze in the coldest part of the freezer until firm or at least 5 hours.

BEET, yes BEET Tartare (CleanCuisine)

This is a terrific recipe that always takes people unawares, as they are expecting “beeF tartare” but thank heavens it’s not! It’s well worth making for a dinner party as a little extra course, or as a side salad at a burger party, You won’t have had anything like this!

Serves 6 to 8

6 medium beets (about 1 1/4 lbs) (beetroot for my English friends)
1 good sized shallot, roughly chopped
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
a few drops of Tobasco sauce
1 tsp sherry vinegar
6 cornichons, roughly chopped,
1/3 cup capers, drained
1 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp Italian parsley, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets, leave them wet and wrap individually in aluminium foil.
Place them in a roasting pan and bake for 90 minutes or until tender.
Cool the beets, peel and cut them into eighths.
Place the beets in a food processor with the shallot, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce,  sherry vinegar, cornichons and capers.
Pulse until the mixture is minced, but not pureed.
You may need to scrape down the sides between pulses.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and 2 tbsp parsley.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may need to add more salt and pepper, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce or Tobasco.
This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a covered container. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Garnish with additional parsley and serve.

This is also a lovely thing to do. Serve a tbsp of the beet tartare on an endive leaf, then a small blob of sour cream, some grated orange rind and a leaf of parsley