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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Roasted Beet & Herbed Goat Cheese Napoleon

How beautifully plated and delicious does this
look? It is a Roasted Beat Goat Cheese Napoleon from Penny De Los Santos Food blog- http://pennydelossantos.wordpress.com/. I love the visiable layers of herbed goat cheese and bright colorful beet.

I think a good tip with this dish is simply the chosen shape. Cutting the Napoleon in a triangle is a brilliant idea as this way you can fully see each beautiful layer. I made a similar dish but kept the beets and cheese circular, yet this left the layers hidden. I cheated a little and bought the beets already cooked at the French market and made my own light dressing of fresh olive, oil, a touch of lemon and sea salt. In the recipe above I also love the perfect dollop of mescaline greens and the dots of dressing up and down the plate.

This pic comes from a Wolfgang Pucks recipe. Here is the link to it below as well as the ingredients and directions. Seems like quite a complicated recipe but it looks so amazing plated and would be a fun, challenging dish to try for a small intimate dinner party. I definitely want to buy one of those long square serving plates.


  • 1 1/2 pounds large yellow or red beets, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 recipe Herbed Goat Cheese, recipe follows, cut into 8 round slices
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mixed baby lettuces, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup Spago House Dressing, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • 1 ounce toasted hazelnuts, recipe follows, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beets in a small roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to reach about 1/4 of the way up the sides of the beets. Cover the pan with foil, and roast the beets until they are tender, 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes. To check for doneness, gently insert a bamboo skewer into a beet. The skewer should slide through easily. Remove the beets from the pan, allow to cool, and then peel.

Cut each beet into 1/4-inch-thick round slices. Cut each slice with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. (You will need 10 rounds). Cut trimmings into 1/4-inch dice and reserve 1/2 cup for garnish.

In a saute pan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil. Lower to a simmer and poach beets 1 minute on each side. With a slotted spatula, remove and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to assemble, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan. Arrange the slices of Herbed Goat Cheese in the pan and warm slightly, turning them with a small spatula just to warm both sides. This has to be done quickly, or the cheese will melt.

To assemble the napoleons, place 1 of the beet rounds on a firm, flat surface and begin to layer. Top with a slice of goat cheese, then another beet round, a second slice of cheese, another beet round, a third slice of cheese, and a beet round. (Continue until you have 5 layers of beets and 4 layers of cheese.) Carefully cut through layers, dividing into 3 wedges. Repeat with the remaining beets and cheese.

To serve, arrange 3 of the wedges, pointed ends facing out, in a circle in the center of each plate. Toss the baby lettuces with the Spago House Dressing and mound half of the lettuces on top of each arranged napoleon. Drizzle 1/2 of the Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette around each mound. Sprinkle toasted nuts and reserved diced beets on top of drizzled vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Herbed Goat Cheese:

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (7 or 8-ounce) log goat cheese

Combine the parsley, chives, thyme, and pepper and place on a flat surface. Roll the log of cheese in the mixture, coating all sides and retaining the shape of the log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Yield: 1 (7 or 8-ounce) log

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000

Spago House Salad Dressing:

  • 2 large shallots, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons zinfandel vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and the mustard. Whisk in the vinegars and then the olive and vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Adventures in the Kitchen", Random House, 1991

Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut oil
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil. Lower to a simmer and reduce until only 1/3 cup remains. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, shallot, thyme, vinegar, and orange zest.

Slowly whisk in both oils until thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000

Toasted Hazelnuts:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the hazelnuts on a medium baking tray and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. (This can be done in a toaster oven). Remove to a clean towel and rub to remove as much of the skin as possible. Chop coarsely and use when needed.

Yield: 1 cup

Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, 2000

My much similar version below:

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