8-10 medium red or golden beets
16 oz. goat cheese
½ cup olive oil
1T fresh thyme, slightly chopped
1tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
4-5 grinds black pepper
1T Dijon mustard
2T Balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 bulbs of fennel
8 cups mixed greens, washed
1. Pre heat the oven to 350° F.
2. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the beets on the tray and place the tray into the oven to roast until they become soft to the touch, about 50-60 minutes. When they are soft, remove from the oven and set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.
3. When the beets are cool, use a peeler or paring knife to remove the skin. Cut the beets into a large dice and set aside.
4. Cheese: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Pour ½ of the oil mixture into a shallow plastic or glass container with a lid. Cut the goat cheese into 1-inch rounds and place on top of the oil. Drizzle the remaining oil on top of the cheese. Cover with lid and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours. Remove the cheese from the fridge 1 hour before serving.
5. Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together. Slowly add the oil, a few drops at first, and then add a steady stream until the vinaigrette is thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Salad: Using a knife or mandolin, slice the fennel bulbs into very thin then place in a serving bowl.
7. Add the salad greens and a little of the vinaigrette. Toss until well dressed. Place on platter or plates.
8. Top with beets and the cheese. Spoon a little of the oil marinade over cheese and beets. Serve immediately.
TIPS & TRICKS
• Beets without the green leaves can be stored in your fridge for several weeks. Once roasted, the beets can last for a week. I roast a bunch at time and peel then, as I need them.
• The marinated goat cheese can be made up to a week in advance. It is also great spread on crostini for a delicious and quick appetizer.
• You substitute fete for the goat cheese.
• You can change the mustard and vinegars to change and create different vinaigrettes.