Prep 1 hr
Cook 20 mins
This is one of my favorite salads to make for the Holidays. The sweetness of the apples and pears offset the tangy flavor of the beets and goat cheese. This is really pretty and is just a perfect starter salad. And not just for the Holidays but any dinner party. This is just one of my favorites
Apple and Pear Puree
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped (red delicious or gala)
- 2 pears, peeled and chopped (I used anjou)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1⁄2 cups white wine
- 3 red beets, roasted
- 1 yellow beet, roasted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 ounces herbed goat cheese
- walnuts, fine chopped
- Beets -- Start those first as they take the longest. This can easily be done the day ahead. Simply cut off most of the greens and wash well. Put the red beets on one sheet of foil and the yellow on another. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt and pepper and fold up the foil to make a little pouch. Roast in a 425 degree oven for approximately 45-60 minutes depending on their size - 45 minutes for small beets and 60 minutes for large beets. Once done, remove from the foil and just let cool. At this point, I like to peel the beets by just rubbing off the skin and then I put the whole beet in a plastic baggie until I am ready to slice and use it in my salad. Your fingers will get red, so you can use a rubber gloves if you want. If not -- after peeling your beets, just put a couple of drops of clorox or bleach on your hands as you wash them and it comes right off.
- Apples and Pears -- In a medium sauce pan, add the apples, pears, cinnamon stick and wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until tender. NOT mushy, just fork tender, this can take 5-10 minutes. Strain the fruit, remove the cinnamon stick and reserve some of the wine to thin out the puree if necessary. Transfer to a blender and pulse to make a nice thick sauce. You want this to be the consistency of thick gravy. Refrigerate until ready to use. This is a chilled sauce, not served warm.
- Cheese -- Now I cut mine with dental floss. I put mine in the freezer for just 15 minutes to make it easier to cut. Take a strand of dental flow and make 8 slices. Then take each slice and lightly dip the top and bottom into the nut mixture.
- Building the salad -- First slice your beets. You will need 8 slices of red beets and 4 slices of the yellow. On a nice serving plate, add some of the apple pear puree, then 1 red beet slice, then a slice of cheese, a yellow beet slice, another slice of cheese, then top with another red beet. Drizzle a little pear puree over the top and if you want to get fancy a couple of thin slices of apple or pear or maybe a little fresh sprig of thyme. The salad is so pretty as is. It is an absolutely great beginning to a dinner.