I bought one bunch of beets - 4 medium-sized beets with white and pink concentric circles inside. And I grabbed a bunch of zucchini blossoms. I decided I'd use both to make a salad of goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms with marinated beets and caramelized walnuts.
Sweet tender, roasted beets combine beautifully with the tang of the goat cheese. The blossoms add a bright punch of color and the walnuts add some crunch. For a little extra flare I added a little basil chiffonade and a sprinkling of chopped chives.
And note well, I served this with country-style lamb chops and homemade pappardelle with wild mushroom ragu and my husband's response was that the salad was the best part! He never says the salad is the best part!!
Roasted beet and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Salad
- 2 large or 4 medium beets (red or striped)
- 1 4-oz package goat cheese, at room-temperature
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 12 zucchini blossoms
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Walnut Oil (optional)
- Sherry vinegar (optional)
- Caramelized walnuts (see recipe at bottom)
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade just before serving
- a few chives, chopped for sprinkling
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the beets then rub each with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Wrap each in a piece of foil then roast for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
In a shallow dish, combine the red wine vinegar, parsley, and garlic with about 7 Tbsp. of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Peel the cooled beets, then slice each into 1/4 inch thick slices and set in the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, scallion and just enough egg to moisten the mixture (probably about half of the egg). Set aside. Gently open each blossom and remove the stamen and any bugs. Fill each with about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. of the cheese mixture. Twist the top to close.
When ready to serve, place three slices of beet on each plate, leaving the dressing behind. Heat 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the blossoms until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. You may have to do this in batches.
Lay three zucchini blossoms on each plate. Drizzle a little walnut oil and sherry vinegar, if using, over the beets (or use some of the marinade if you prefer). Then pile the basil chiffonade on the beets and sprinkle with the chives. Finally, sprinkle with some caramelized walnuts and serve.