- 3 large red beets, tops removed, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 ounces of soft goat cheese
- 4 ounces of cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of white pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cups of fresh mixed greens or arugula
- A small bunch of fresh mint leaves, cut in a chiffonade
- 12 fresh asparagus spears
- 2 medium to large radishes
- mint leaf sprigs or edible flowers for garnish
For the beet goat cheese timbales
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash the beets, removing the top where the leaves were. Place the beets in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap the foil loosely but completely around the beets. Place beet packet on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Roast until the tip of a paring knife goes easily into the beet, about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the beet.
While beets are roasting, prepare your muffin tin. Line 8 muffin molds with plastic food wrap. Spray the wrap lightly with nonstick food spray. Try to make the plastic as smooth as possible. Set aside.
Remove beets and let them cool. Peel the beets. Dice one of the beets into ¼-inch pieces and reserve for the final salad. Coarsely chop the two remaining beets and place into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to puree the beets, scraping the mixture down several times. Add the room temperature goat cheese and cream cheese. Pulse to combine. The mixture should be a smooth pink color. Fill the prepared muffin tins evenly with the cheese mixture. Smooth out the tops so they are flat. Refrigerate for one day. Can be made several days ahead.
To prepare the vinaigrette
Place the vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil.
To prepare the final salad
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into long strips. To do this, place the individual asparagus spears on a flat work surface. Run a vegetable peeler along the asparagus to make strips. Flip the asparagus and shave the other side. Set aside. Any asparagus pieces left over can be used for soup.
Thinly slice the radishes with a knife or a mandoline. Slice the mint leaves into a chiffonade by layering 12 nice-sized leaves on top of each other. Roll them tightly long ways, like a cigar. Take a chef knife and slice into thin strips.
Place the greens into a large bowl. Add the fresh mint, shaved asparagus and radishes. Toss with enough vinaigrette. Divide the salad among 8 large plates.
Unmold the beet goat cheese. Place a goat cheese in the center of each salad. Divide the reserved diced roasted beets evenly among the 8 plates. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or edible flowers.