Behold the sides of March


This month my blog is going to be all about side dishes. To kick off the theme, I’ll introduce the most beautiful side dish I’ve ever made. I came across this recipe for beet and goat cheese napoleons on Pinterest a couple months ago. I’ve been eating beets lately and wanted to try something other than roasting them.

While I always like to make things that taste good, sometimes I’ll take the time to make something pretty, too.

A mandolin makes slicing the beets evenly a lot easier, but it’s not a necessity. You can cut the beets with a knife as long as you keep the thickness as uniform as possible. I don’t have a biscuit cutter, so I used the mouth of a glass to make the beet slices the same shape. I saved the beet scraps and made a beet salad for lunch the next day.

I don’t have presentation rings because they’re not something I see myself using on a regular basis, so my presentation of this dish is wanting. Luckily that doesn’t affect the flavor. I expected the overall taste to have a bit of a fresh, tangy flavor to it because of the goat cheese, but the honey in the mixture made it sweeter than I had imagined, and that was a pleasant surprise.

beets2Because I was making this for myself, I made two beet towers instead of the four or so the original recipe serves. I’ve pared down the ingredients so the recipe below produces two servings. I saved the second beet tower in a bowl, covered by plastic wrap, in the fridge for two days, and it kept, though the top beet layer was slightly dry and the beet juice had stained the goat cheese a pinkish purple color. I wouldn’t keep these refrigerated for longer than that. I served mine with pork, but it could stand alone for a vegetarian meal.

Two beets, golden and/or red
5-6 ounces goat cheese, softened (at room temperature)
2 sage leaves, minced
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and cracked pepper
1/3 teaspoon honey
chopped pistachios, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour, until a knife is easily inserted into the beet. Let them cool, and peel the skin off. Use a mandolin to slice the beets about 1/4-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out beet slice circles.

Mix the sage and parsley with the goat cheese. Add the honey and season with freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste. Put dollops of goat cheese in between layers of sliced beet, until you get five slices of beet per napoleon. Serve with the chopped pistachios on top and watercress on the plate.

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