Beets and goat cheese are two of the best pairings for pinot noir. Together they create a flavorful and satisfying starter.
- 4 medium golden beets or Chioggia beets
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of Muscat vinegar
- 1 blood orange (juiced)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated blood orange peel
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 3.5-ounce logs fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1 small fennel bulb (shaved paper thin)
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 1/4 inch slices.
Whisk olive oil, blood orange juice, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Slice the goat cheese logs into 4 slices. Press each portion circles about 2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Dip the goat cheese circles in the egg mixture, then dredge in breadcrumbs. In a non-stick pan over high heat, add the canola oil, and cook each goat cheese slice 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Set them aside.
On each plate, layer the beet slices with a small amount of shaved fennel in between slices. Top each beet tower with a goat cheese slice. Garnish with the cucumber cubes and drizzle with the remaining dressing.