Heart Beets Salad With Fried Goat Cheese

This is what I had for lunch. I roasted the beets a couple of days ago, actually, and was going to put this up on Friday for a “power food friday” post. But, you know me. I got busy. I wasn’t kidding when I said my kitchen was a mess. Anyway, these cute little beet hearts have been waiting ever so patiently in my fridge, and I wanted to add something special to them. Iremembered  how well goat cheese goes with beets, so I thought I’d try a little idea I saw on the Food Network, which was goat cheese balls, coated in panko, and fried. It was a great combination. The beets were sweet and earthy, and the goat cheese was warm and tangy. Perfect. Of course, by the time you get around to making this, Valentine’s Day will be a distant memory, but you can always just slice the beets into chunks. But I still like them shaped like hearts. That’s just me.

Heart Beets Salad With Fried Goat Cheese

  • 2 medium beets, scrubbed clean
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • salad greens
  • balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • fried goat cheese (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Top with a piece of parchment paper. Place beets on parchment paper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap paper and aluminum foil around the beets and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until beets are tender to the point of a knife. Let cool completely.

2. Toss salad greens with balsamic vinaigrette. Slice beets about 1/4 inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes. Arrange on plates with salad greens. Top with warm fried goat cheese.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Whisk ingredients together until smooth.

Fried Goat Cheese

  • 1 eight ounce package goat cheese (chevre)
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 cups oil for frying

1. Mix cheese with lemon zest, parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper until well blended. Roll cheese mixture into balls the size of cat’s eye marbles. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Roll in egg, and coat with panko.

2. Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, to about 360 degrees. Be careful not to cook these too quickly, or the bread coating will boil off, and be careful not to cook them too slowly, or the cheese will ooze out. Cook the cheese balls until golden brown. Serve warm with the salad.

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