Salt-Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Mousse: A hearty vegetarian dish
About the recipe
Roasting beets in salt insulates them as they cook, keeping their flavor intact and preventing colors from running once the beets are cut.
Salty, tangy goat cheese is a classic pair for beets, and turning the goat cheese into a spreadable mousse makes for an elegant presentation.
However, if you’re just looking for a more functional salad, omit the milk and leave the goat cheese in a more crumbly form. Increase the amount of arugula and toss all the ingredients together after you cut the beets.
Hands On Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 medium red beets
4 medium gold beets
1 cup goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
To make the beets: Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pour the salt at least 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread the thyme sprigs on top of the salt.
Scrub the red and gold beets with cold water. While the beets are still wet, roll in the salt to completely coat. Evenly space beets on the salt bed and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Roast until a paring knife pierces the beet with little resistance, about 1 hour.
Discard the aluminum foil and let cool in the baking dish. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel the skins by rubbing the beets with your hands. Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.
To make the salad: Using an electric or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the goat cheese and milk together until smooth and spreadable.
To assemble, spoon 1/4 cup of the goat cheese mousse across four serving plates. Arrange some of the red and gold beets on top of the mousse, and add a few thin slices of raw candy-striped beets to each plate.
In a large bowl, toss the arugula with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide the mixture between each plate. Sprinkle with the pecans and serve.