Roasting beets brings out their natural sweetness, while transforming their texture into something that is uniformly tender. Tangy goat cheese is a great counterpoint to the beet sugar and the walnuts add just a bit of crunch. Two of our favorite local goat cheese makers are Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Company and Firefly Farms, both in nearby Maryland. Serves 4.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely diced shallots
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 small beets, any variety or combination</div>
splash of olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette or your favorite vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons toasted, chopped walnuts (optional)
Tip For Peeling Beets: With a paper towel in each hand, rub the skin off each beet. The paper towels keep your hands from turning bright red (if you’re peeling red beets) and do a beautiful job of taking off the skin while maintaining the contour of the beet.
To Toast Nuts: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Toast the nuts in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes or until they are fragrant.