Hampton Island goat cheese and beet Napoleon with balsamic reduction
- 4 medium to large red or golden beets, greens trimmed off and reserved (leave about 1 inch of stem on the beet)
- 1 bunch fresh chives
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- one 4-ounce (110-g) log of goat cheese (you may have some left over)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped chives for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the beets on a large rectangular piece of aluminum foil and fold the sides of the foil up around the beets to completely cover them. Before you seal the package, put a little bit of water in the bottom of the foil with the beets. Fold edges of foil over to create a seal. Place package on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until beets are fully cooked and soft.
2. Meanwhile, make the chive oil. In a blender or food processor, purée the chives together with the olive oil. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a container (or a squeeze bottle), pressing on the solids.
3. Remove cooked beets from the foil and allow them to cool completely. The skins of the beets should come off easily: do this carefully in order to preserve the thin, long tails of the beets. Cut each beet into four slices across its diameter and set aside.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut 12 slices of goat cheese from the log and set aside.
5. Wash and spin dry the beet greens, then stack them, whole, on top of one another. Cut the greens crosswise into slivers, then use your fingers to gently mix the slivers together.
6. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat just a bit and simmer until vinegar is reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes. Set vinegar aside while you plate the beets and greens.
7. Divide the slivers of greens among four plates, piling them in the corner of each plate. Construct a napoleon on each plate by layering the slices of beets alternately with the goat cheese. Begin with a beet slice, top with a goat cheese slice, and continue with the remaining three beet slices and two goat cheese slices, ending the layers with the piece of beet that has the tail attached.
8. Season the beet napoleon and the greens with a little sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle the chive oil and balsamic reduction over the greens and napoleon. Reserve extra balsamic reduction for use over meats or other salads. Sprinkle a few of the remaining chopped chives over the top, and serve.
Created by Chef Paul A. Paskins, Hampton Island preserve