Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fancy Pants: Golden Beet Caviar with Goat Cheese and Belgian Endive

Entertaining with beets. Is it possible to serve them to company and not come across as some doily-knitting, Borscht-toting grandma? Yes, yes it is. Enter Golden Beet Caviar with Goat Cheese and Belgian Endive. Sweet, bitter, tangy and creamy. Really good.

This recipe is a variation of one from Deborah Madison’s book, “Local Flavors,” and it is a total guiltless summer treat. I have mentioned in a previous post, and I cannot sing its praises enough. Her recipe is a lovely composed salad that uses three beets; red, golden, and Chioggia (those cute little bi-colored ones that resemble a bulls-eye). I chose to make the recipe more of an hors hors d'oeuvre, and stick to one color beet, since red ones tend to turn the whole lot blood-red as soon as you mix them together. Besides, the golden beets looked great at the farmers market.

As Madison notes in her book, the beet caviar is bright and refreshing, and I took her suggestion to make a batch and just keep it in the fridge. Even after the endive was gone, I was spooning the caviar onto rye crackers and mixed green salads…or straight into my mouth every time I passed through the kitchen.

Golden Beet Caviar with Goat Cheese and Belgian Endive

6 golden beets (though you can use any variety)
1 very small sweet onion, finely diced (I despise raw onions of any other variety—the original recipe calls for red onion, so go with your own tastes here.)
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Belgian endives
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
Olive oil

1. Remove leaves and stems, and trim root tips of beets. Steam the beets until they are tender-firm when pierced with a knife, 25-45 minutes, depending on their size. Cool, then slip off the skins. Dice finely by hand—or, alternately, cut into chunks and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped, but not mushy.
2. While beets are cooking, toss the onion in the vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt, and set aside. Toss the beets with the onion and vinegar. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Toss again with parsley and chill.
3. Slice bottoms from endive and remove cores. Remove leaves individually, wash, and let dry.
4. Assemble: Scoop a spoonful of the beet mixture into each leaf, top with crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.


Wackysmile said...

is there another cheese you can substitute for that is NOT a soft cheese????

Alex Harrison said...

How about an aged goat cheese or sheep's milk cheese? You still get a nice tangy flavor that way. Otherwise, you could shave a little Parmesan on top!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Fancy pants indeed, Alex! I'm definitely looking for this cookbook.

I just got some very unusual (but purple) beets from my farm share this week, and I'm sure I'm going to try this.

Alissa said...

I had the best golden beet ravioli at The Palace Kitchen in Seattle on our honeymoon. I never knew I liked beets until then. Love your pictures!