Roasted Beets and Caramelized Walnut Salad with Chevre Croutons
From Chef Keith Luce
- 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. small beets, scrubbed and trimmed
- 2 T. olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T. red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
- Caramelized walnuts:
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 c. walnut pieces
- Chèvre croutons:
- 6 slices crusty baguette
- 6 oz. fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
- 1/4 c. walnut oil
- 3 T. sherry vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh watercress
- 3 small Belgian endives, trimmed and julienned
Roasted and marinated beets: preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each beet individually in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Allow the beets to cool to room temp, then peel them and cut them into quarters. Combine all the marinade ingredients, add the beets and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
To make the caramelized walnuts: oil a baking sheet with sides. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow boil until the syrup becomes golden brown, then remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts, and mix until completely coated. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on the baking sheet pan and allow to cool in a cool, dry place.
To make the croutons: toast the baguette slices under the broiler on both sides. Spread the cheese evenly onto all slices and place under the broiler for another minute. Remove and reserve.
To finish the salad: in a large bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, sherry vinegar and salt and pepper. Add the watercress and endive and toss well.
To serve: Drain the beets and reserve the marinade. Divide the beets among 6 plates. Arrange the salad on top. Garnish with the caramelized walnuts and a chèvre crouton.