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Beet Salad with Chèvre and Walnuts

Beet Salad with Chèvre and Walnuts
Chèvre, French for goat cheese, is available in most supermarkets in the United States today. Goat cheese comes in several different styles, from soft and creamy to dry and firm. For this recipe, use a semisoft goat cheese, which crumbles easily and has a mild, slightly tart flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. golden or red beets or a combination
      (about 6 medium)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 12 oz. mixed baby greens
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 12 oz. goat cheese (chèvre)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, toss the beets with enough oil to coat evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from the oven. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper until blended. Slowly whisk in the 1 cup olive oil.

In a bowl, combine the beets with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the baguette slices in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Brush the bread lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack and let the crostini cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, toss the mixed baby greens with salt, pepper and enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide the greens among 8 chilled salad plates. Sprinkle the walnuts and beets evenly over the salads, and drizzle with additional vinaigrette as desired. Crumble the goat cheese over the salads, divide the crostini among the plates and serve immediately.
Serves 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.