Friday, January 14, 2011
This is a fantastic first course! Beets and goat cheese are classic together and this adds a bit of sweetness to their partnership. Done this way, it looks a little more dressed up for company than just sliced beets with the goat cheese crumbled over the top (which is what I normally do). Start by peeling 2 small beets and cutting into chunks or cubes of roughly the same size. Toss in a baking dish with 1 tablespoon crumbled fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil and just a sprinkle of brown sugar. Roast at 400 until soft, shaking the pan occasionally as they cook.They should pretty much turn into beet raisins. Some will be chewier and some will be softer. I like the contrast in textures. Drizzle the roasted beets lightly with 1 - 2 teaspoons honey.While the beets are roasting, get 1 tablespoon parsley and 2 tablespoons pecans...Mince them up. They don't stand a chance!Now put 1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl...And add your parsley and pecans. Mix it all up well.I got out my mortar and smashed everything together to make the mixture more cohesive. If you did a better job mincing than I did in the previous step then you may not need to do this.Goat cheese! Slice two 1/2" rounds off a chilled log of goat cheese. I shaped them into patties with my hands and let them chill in the fridge until it was time to finish them for dinner. The idea is to keep them cold so they don't heat up too fast and lose their shape when you put them in the oven.Pat the rounds into your pecan-bread crumbs mixture. Get them well-coated on all sides.By the way, you probably noticed at this point that there's only enough here for a first course for two people. This is because we are snowed in and as a result the party is very exclusive. Just double or triple amounts for your much less sad dinner party. Anyway, put the rounds on some tin foil and place them in the oven along with the beets to heat up. I had them in at 400 for maybe 10 minutes or so. You just want them to get warm all through and for the nuts in the topping to get a little toasty.When they are all heated through, gently remove them to a plate--be careful because they're warm and easily fall apart!Now you need a little bit of honey...this is a huge jar of wildflower honey from our trip to Blue Ridge this summer. Feels like a million years ago that we were walking around on a hot summer day!Drizzle about a tablespoon or so over each warmed goat cheese round...And top with the beets. Perfect. Enjoy!