|Fried Goat Cheese Beet and Lentil Salad|
I talked this salad up so much in my French Friday's with Dorie cooking group that I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations. But how can it not: fresh greens, smothered in lentils with sweet beets as a contrast to the earthy lentils, topped with crispy goat cheese that melts in your mouth.... Have I sold you yet?
Maybe I should tell you that the last time I served this was the eve of a hurricane in the Adirondacks last summer. The sky was red and the evening calm... it was a really memorable night with friends at our camp that quickly changed when the hurricane decided to pour more rain on to our area than was expected. We had to "bug out" of our island home at dawn in hopes of out running the storm. We were not successful and spent many hours on the road detouring off of flooded highways... but at least we had the memory of our yummy dinner the night before to sustain us through the ordeal.
FRIED GOAT CHEESE BEETS & LENTIL SALAD
by Diane Balch
Prep 1 hour Serves: 4 - 6
large container of baby green lettuces
Italian vinaigrette dressing
1 cup of dried lentils (French de puy lentils are really nice if you can find them)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup of minced red onion
1 tablespoon of brandy or cognac (optional)
1 pound of fresh beets
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of Italian flavored bread crumbs (Aleia's gluten-free Italian Bread Crumbs)
1 large log 6-8 oz of goat cheese
1) One hour before you plan to fry the goat cheese put the whole log in the freezer. This will keep the centers from melting too quickly when you fry them.
2) Preheat oven to 425 degrees at least 10 minutes before you want to roast the beets.
3) Rise lentils and remove black or cracked ones. Put them in a large sauce pan with the onions, stock, brandy and a dash of salt and pepper. With the lid on bring them to a boil and lower them to a medium simmer for up to 30 minutes. Check occasionally to see if they need more stock. Lentils are done when they are tender to the taste.
4) While the lentils are cooking cut off the stems and roots of the beets. Scrub them under water with a vegetable brush. Cut them in half for a faster cooking time or leave them whole. Coat them with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast them in a large baking dish until you can easily poke a fork through them, approximately 30 minutes. When you remove the beets from the oven let them cool to the touch and then peel off their skin. Chop them into 1 inch cubes and toss them with a vinaigrette of your choice. You can prepare the beets the day before and add them cold to the salad. They will have absorbed the dressing more.
5) Once your lentils and beets are cooked. Spread bread crumbs out in a large plate. Beat the eggs. On medium-high heat put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. When the oil is hot (a drop of water sizzles in it) Remove the goat cheese from the freezer and slice it into 1 inch pieces. One at a time coat the goat cheese in egg and then cover them with bread crumbs. Fry for approximately 1 minute on each side or until the outside becomes golden brown.
6) Toss greens with vinaigrette. In each bowl place greens, then lentils, next beets and top with goat cheese. Rustic bread goes nicely with this salad.
vegetarian, beets, salad, lentils, goat cheese
Spotlight from Last Week:
From: Peanut Butter & Peppers
Watermelon and tomatoes: this salad is a good reminder that tomatoes are really fruit. Interesting flavor: a mixture of sweet, bitter and the creaminess of the goat cheese.
Mexican comfort food: pork, beans, beer all in one dish. How can you go wrong.
From: It's Not about the Recipe...
Cajun comfort food, andouille sausage makes the flavor pop in this spicy dish that is perfectly balanced by creamy grits
From: It's Not about the Recipe
Got any room for dessert... try this simple, yet light and summery lemon poppy cake.
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