Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer Fest- Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon

I’m not a beet fan. I’m not sure why they just have never been my favorite vegetable.  Whenever possible, my dad would always ordered pickled beets and its funny my husband is the same way.  This like in all my recipes I take something familiar and give it a little twist.  Instead of pickling the beets, I roasted them which gives them a more intense, sweeter flavor.   And to give them a little more flavor I tried the classic combination of goat cheese and beets.  As my husband describes it, salty goat cheese and sweet beets are a great combination.

As with every Summer Fest installment there will be LOTS of beet recipes that follow after this post from more Summer Fest participants. So check 'em out!

Cooking beet greens was a first for me.  I guess I should have paid more attention to my mother in law when she made Sunday supper, but I didn’t.  I checked a couple of cookbooks for recipes for beets greens (they came with the beets and I didn’t want to waste them!) and all the recipes sounded pretty straightforward.  Take the leaves off the stems, wash them and sauté them.  Straightforward, right?  Not sure what I did wrong but the greens were bitter and tough.

To top off the Napoleon I decided to make a balsamic and orange reduction as sort of a sauce.  I thought it tasted pretty good but my husband really didn’t taste the orange.  Maybe he just needed more sauce on his Napoleon.

Beets and goat cheese are a classic and unbeatable combination, even without the greens and the balsamic reduction.  Roasting the beets make them even sweeter but there are a few tips I would like to share.


Beets stain everything!  Place the beets in a casserole dish, like a Pyrex or Le Creuset with a little water in the bottom.  This will make clean up easier.

Be sure to clean your beets thoroughly.  I think one of the reasons I never liked beets is that they always smelled like dirt to me. 


When peeling the beets (after they are cool enough to handle) hold them the stem and use a fork or knife to help you peel the skin off.  It will save your hands turning a magnificent shade of pink.  You can also use kitchen gloves. Either way you'll be happy you protected your hands.

For the beet greens, cut them off from the beet and leave about an inch.  This will make it easier to hold while peeling, as explained above.  Be sure to wash the greens thoroughly and take them completely off the stem, so they will be tender after they cook.  If you have a favorite recipe for collard greens it will work great for beet greens too.

If you want to make Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese Napoleons you’ll need:

1 pound of beets, about 4 med.
4 ounces or one small log of goat cheese
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
1 large orange, juiced and zested.

Wash beets thoroughly and remove the leaves, leaving about an inch of stem.  Place the beets in a casserole dish and add about 1 inch of water.  Season the beets with salt and pepper.  Cover the dish with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until the beets are fork tender.  Remove from the oven and let them cool enough to handle, then peel them.

To make the balsamic glaze:
In a non-reactive pan on medium heat, warm the vinegar and cook until it reduces by about half.  Once the vinegar has reduced, then add the orange juice and cook for about another 3-4 minutes.  The reduction should be a sweet and sour sauce with just a hint of orange.

To cook the beet greens:
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.  Add ½ cup chopped onion, sauté the onion until soft.  Add the washed and dried beet greens to the pan and cook until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

To make the Napoleon:
Place some of the cooked beet greens in the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Slice one of the beets into 3 pieces. Place a slice of beet on top of the greens, then place a slice of goat cheese on top of the beet. Repeat topping with the last slice of beet.  Spoon some of the balsamic glaze over and garnish with orange zest.

Whenever I develop and write about a recipe I like to give as many variations as I can. I like to use the ingredients so that you can make it all or just part.  So if you're not a fan of the greens, that's okay.  If you don't want to try the balsamic glaze, no problem.  But if you do make any part of the recipe, I really suggest roasting your beets.  After you try them like this, you'll be a fan for life!

If you're looking for more beet recipes, check out the list below:

Jeanette's Healthy Living:   Roasted Beet and Apple Walnut Salad With Honey Yogurt Dressing
What's Gaby Cooking:  Beet, Corn and Quinoa Salad
Chez Us   Pickled Beets
Feed Me Phoebe:   Spaghetti With Beet Greens and Blistered Tomatoes
Virtually Homemade:  Orange Roasted Chicken With Beets and Green Beans
Napa Farmhouse 1885:   Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad With Meyer Lemon Marmalade Vinaigrette
Thursday Night Dinner:   Beet, Carrot and Ginger Soup
HGTV Gardens:  Garden-to-Table: Beets
Cooking With Books:   Roasted Beets, Carrots and Goat Cheese Tartine
FN Dish:   Better Beets


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