Salad of Baby Beets with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

posted: 06/30/10
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Salad of Baby Beets with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

Take Home Chef, Episode 30: Jill's Menu


  • 3 tablespoons/50 ml plus 2/3 cup/175 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup/55 ml plus 1 tablespoon/15 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bunches baby red and golden beets with leaves (about 12 beets)
  • 1 head fris?e lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces/100 g soft goat cheese


  1. To make the Dressing and Balsamic Reduction
  2. Whisk 3 tablespoons/50 ml of the balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly add 1/4 cup/55 ml of the olive oil, whisking constantly until the vinegar and oil are emulsified together.
  3. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Trim the leaves from 1 of the beets. Reserve the leaves. Finely dice the beet. Combine the finely diced beet and the remaining 2/3 cup/175 ml of balsamic vinegar in a heavy small saut? pan over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vinegar thickens slightly and is reduced to a glaze.
  5. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Trim the leaves from the remaining beets, leaving about 3 inches/8 cm of the stems on the beets. Cook all the leaves in the boiling water for 15 seconds, or until bright green. Transfer the leaves to a bowl of ice water to cool them quickly. Drain the beet leaves and pat them dry.
  6. Mix the beet leaves with the fris?e lettuce. Cover and refrigerate the beet leaves and fris?e while preparing the beets. Preheat the oven to 350?F/180?C. Wash the beets carefully, using a small brush to ensure there is no sand or grit remaining. Cut the beets lengthwise in half. Arrange the beets on a baking sheet.
  7. Drizzle of the remaining 1 tablespoon/15 ml of the oil over the beets and season with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and sprinkle the leaves over the beets. Cover the baking sheet with foil and bake the beets in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the beets are almost tender.
  8. Remove the foil and bake the beets 15 minutes longer, or until they are tender and begin to caramelize. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Toss the beets, fris?e and beet leaves in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Using 2 small knives or 2 small spoons, place 5 or 6 small pieces of the goat cheese over each salad. Drizzle the balsamic reduction around the salads and serve.
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