Beet Cream with Goat Cheese

Beet Cream with Goat Cheese Recipe

I’ve used the combination of beets and goat cheese several times, and I think that it works incredibly well. The color is so vibrant it only makes sense to use it as an appetizer. To brighten up the purée, I added marinated artichoke as a garnish and covered it in crumbled goat cheese as a hint of what’s inside. Just serve it in small shot glasses along with some tasty black sesame crackers, and you’ll have an easy appetizer that still brings the wow factor.

It also goes great alongside the hummus that I published yesterday, so mix and match and have fun!

Ingredients

Yields: 18 mini appetizers

5 large whole beets
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1-½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
18 pieces marinated artichokes, quartered
1-½ cups goat cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1-½ teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Directions

Cooking the beets:

Scrub the beets under tap water. Remember to trim off a little piece from the end of the root. Reserve the beet leaves (if any) for another dish; they're edible. Peel and cut the beets into 1"-thick slices.

Place the beets in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until softened. Check the liquid periodically and add more water if necessary. Strain the beets and reserve 1 cup or more of the beet juice. Allow to cool a little.


Making beet cream:

In a mortar and pestle, grind 1 teaspoon of sea salt with thyme.

Zest and juice the lemon.

In a blender, combine the boiled beets, 5 tablespoons of goat cheese, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mustard and 1 teaspoon honey. Add 3/4 to 1 cup of beet juice and mix until the blender flows smoothly. Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.


For the topping: In a bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey, 2 tablespoons from the marinated artichoke juice and olive oil. Add the remaining crumbled goat cheese and 3 tablespoons parsley. Toss well.


Assembly time:

Line up verrine glasses (see tips). Place the filling in a piping bag. Pipe or spoon in the beet cream. Decorate with themarinated artichokes. Garnish with more parsley and sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper.

Serve each cup on a pretty saucer and place some crackers on the side, along with a small spoon so you can spread the beet cream.

Serve at room temperature.

Bon appétit!


Tips

A few tips when preparing beets:
    - Rule #1: Wear dark-colored clothes.
    - Rule #2: Grease your hands with oil before touching the beets.
    - Rule #3: Do not cut (or place) beets on a marble baking slab!
    - Rule #4: Use a plastic cutting board. You can eventually toss it or bleach it.
    - Rule #5: If, unfortunately, you stained your wooden cutting board, use the same technique as you would for removing wine stains; sprinkle a little kosher salt on the stain and spray a little water. Wait for an hour.

You could make the same cream using roasted beets.

I served the hummus in small verrines. "Verrine" is just a fancy word for "glasses"; they're the latest trend in French cooking. I used 4-ounce double-walled espresso shot glasses.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 12, 2011.


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