This is not only a beautiful, delicious and impressive first course, but it's relatively easy and can be made ahead of time.
3/4 Large Red Beets, 1/2 lb without greens)
1/2 Large Golden Beets (1/4 lb without greens)
1 Tablespoon Minced Shallot
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/16 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Pistachio Oil
1 Ounce Soft Mild Goat Cheese
2 1/4 Teaspoons Salted Shelled Pistachios (not dyed red) coarsely chopped
1/4 Ounce Mâche (also called lamb's lettuce) or Baby Arugula (1 cup) trimmed
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Separately wrap red and golden beets tightly in double layers of foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap beets.
- While beets are cooling slightly, whisk together shallot, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking.
- When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off and discard skins. Separately cut red and golden beets into 1/4-inch dice and put in separate bowls. Add 2 teaspoons dressing to each bowl and toss to coat.
- Place a 3" diameter ring in center of 1 of 2 salad plates. Put half of red beets in ring and pack down with tamper. Crumble 2 teaspoons goat cheese on top, then half of golden beets, packing them down. Put tamper on top of beet stack in one ring and gently lift ring up and away from stack. Make 1 more serving in same manner. Drizzle each plate with 1 teaspoon dressing and scatter with some pistachios.
- Toss mâche with just enough remaining dressing to coat and gently mound on top of beets. Serve immediately.
Beets can be roasted and diced 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
Molded beet salad (without mâche) can be assembled 45 minutes ahead and kept, covered, at cool room temperature.
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