- 1 1/2 pound red beets
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup baby lettuces
- 1/2 cup spago house dressing
- 1/4 cup citrus hazelnut vinaigrette
- 1 ounce hazelnuts
THIS STACKED SALAD has become a standard at Spago.
Rounds of brilliant red beets layered with slices of white goat cheese make up one of the most striking and elegant appetizers we serve.
The earthy beets and pungent cheese ask for just a drizzle of House Dressing and a sprinkling of toasted nuts.
Add some greens for more color, or serve it without.
Easy to make, this is the appetizer for impressing your friends.
Try to purchase beets that are all about the same size.
To save time, roast and chill the beets beforehand.1.
Roast beets: Preheat oven to 400F.
Place the beets in a small roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to reach about one quarter 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.2.
Cut each beet into 1/4-inch-thick round slices.
Cut each slice with a 3-inch round cookie cutter.
(You will need ten rounds.)
Cut trimmings into 1/4-inch dice and reserve 1/2 cup for garnish.
*Rice wine vinegar is available at Asian markets and gourmet specialty stores.3.
In a sauté pan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and poach beets one minute on each side.
With a slotted spatula, remove and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover and refrigerate until needed.4.
When ready to assemble, heat the olive oil in a small sauté 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.5.
To assemble the napoleons: Place one 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 five layers of beets and four layers of cheese.)
Carefully cut through layers, dividing into three wedges.
Repeat with the remaining beets and cheese.6.
To serve: Arrange three 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 one half of the Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette around each mound.
Sprinkle toasted nuts and reserved diced beets on top of drizzled vinaigrette.
TO PREPARE AHEAD: Through step 3, up to one day ahead.