Recipe excerpted from Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen
For the Beets
- 4 large beets (about 3 lb), trimmed
- vegetable oil
- kosher salt
For the Goat Cheese
- 1 log fresh goat cheese (about 10 oz)
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 4 large egges, lightly beaten
- 3 c dried bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the Vinaigrette
- 4 oranges
- 3 T minced shallots
- 1 c extra virgin olibe oil
- 1 c fresh orange juice
- 1 T white wine vinegar
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
Rub the beets with oil and salt. Wrap them in a large sheet of foil, folding the edges together for a tight seal.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a sheet pan, make a bed of kosher salt about 1/4 inch thick on which to rest the foil packet (this protects the beets from direct heat).
Roast the beets for 90 minutes, then test for doneness by inserting a roasting fork (right throught the foil) into a beet: It should be fork-tender. Peel open the foil (watch out for the escaping steam). Let the beets cool slightly-they'll be easier to peel while warm. Hold them in a paper towel and push the skin off with a towel. Cut each beet into 6 wedges.
Cut the goat cheese log into 4 rounds. Set up your breading assembly line: Put the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls and line them up. Dip the cheese rounds into the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, then repeat the process to make a double coating. Refrigerate.
In a large pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the goat cheese until the coating is crisp, about three minutes, then drain on a paper towel-lined platter.
Peel and segment the oranges, set aside. Sweat the shallots briefly in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a good pinch of salt. Add the orange juice, increase the heat to medium-high, and quickly reduce the liquid by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar and the remaining oil; season with salt and white pepper.
Toss the beets and spinach in the vinaigrette; adjust the seasoning. Arrange the beets and greens on plates. Scatter oranges around the salads and drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with goat cheese rounds.