Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Stacks

Not very many people like beets. They definitely are an acquired taste, a taste I strongly suggest you try.  The first or second time may still gross you out, but I am telling you, try them prepared homemade or professionally (NOT FROM THE CAN) and you will be pleasantly surprised.  They are sweet, yet Earthy and rich in various nutrients.

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Last year, I was out to dinner in Chicago celebrating my sister’s Master’s graduation.  We were at a restaurant known for their chicken and waffles, which were amazing.  Our table tried the beet appetizer on the menu, most guests at the table skeptical and uninterested.  However, the stacks of deep purple goodness were welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed.  Ever since we had this recipe I have wanted to create some type of beet stack similar to this one.  Unfortunately, Bryan is not a fan and so I never buy any while at the store.

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Fortunately, Bryan’s mom planted beets in her garden this year so I received my first batch of beets last week.  You can’t get much more organic than produce from your own backyard.  I can’t wait to have a large yard one day so I can have my own garden!  So when Bryan came home with the bag of beets I knew I wanted to create a stack like the one in the restaurant.  I wanted it to be a simple bite that I could enjoy before our dinner  (Grilled Chinese BBQ Pork Tenderloin) and not be full.

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I had some delicious, creamy goat cheese in the fridge that I sliced into small medallions as the 2nd star in my stack.  A simple sprinkle of parsley from my balcony garden and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar completed my creation.  These are very easy (although a bit messy, they stain your hands pink) to prepare and very beautiful.  Prepare these stacks and encourage your guests to try them.  So don’t be shy and quickly move on to your next blog, give the beet a try!

roasted beet & goat cheese stacks

Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 1 hour   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
~8 beets (2 per person, depending on size)
~4 oz goat cheese
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Remove the stems and greens from the beets.
3.  Place the beets on some tin foil, leaving enough room to wrap up into a pouch.  Add the garlic cloves to the beets and drizzle with olive oil.
4.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and close up the foil pouches.  Place in oven directly on the rack.
5.  Once fork tender (about an hour) remove and use a paring knife to remove the peel.
6.  Cut the beets horizontally and stack them back up alternating with the goat cheese.
7.  Sprinkle with the parsley and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
8.  Serve warm or chilled.

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Roasted Beet & Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

{the earthy salad}

Growing up my mom made dinner a lot and oftentimes there would be a can of beets on the table.  She would also say “Now don’t go eating all my beets!” clearly being sarcastic as I HATED beets.  The unreal color, the earthy smell, the odd liquid they sat in. BLAH. Thanks, but no thanks.  

In college, I worked at one of our upscale restaurants in Oxford called Alexander House (RIP as it no longer exists) on the menu there was a Beet Salad.  It always intrigued me – the bright colors, the arrangement of the beets around the plates and the freshness of it.  I decided to give it a try and instantly fell in love.  My taste buds had grown and I now was a big fan of those little monsters that I used to despise on the dinner table.  I even LOVE canned beets.  So Mom, now if you have beets on the dinner table, you may have to tell me with no sarcasm to not eat all the beets!  

I was cleaning out our fridge for whatever night and saw a beet in the veggie drawer.  I am not sure how old it was, but hey there wasn’t any visible moldings.  I threw it into the oven to roast and well… I forgot about it.  Bryan ended up taking it out and then next morning I saw it on the counter.  I knew I had to use it right away so I whipped by this salad to have to lunch at work.  The crunchy, sweet apple was delicious with the earthy beets and the apple cider vinaigrette gave it a nice punch of tang.  I wish I had some pecans or goat cheese to add to the salad, but I didn’t at the time.  It was a perfect amount to take to work for lunch that day.  I know beets are an acquired taste and most people cringe at the name.  However, I strongly suggest starting by adding them some roasted ones to your salad.  They are very nutritious and quite filling too.

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{Click here for the recipe}

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