3 red beets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
3 golden beets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Meyer lemon, finely grated zest and juice
1 orange, finely grated zest
1/2 orange, juiced
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe avocados
1 lemon, juiced
Grilled Green Onions
2 green onions
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsps ground dark-roast coffee
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 ozs Bohemian Creamery Capriago cheese (semifirm goat cheese) or Fontina cheese, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
assorted microgreens, such as beet greens, watercress, and pea shoots, for garnish
For the beets:
To prepare the beets, preheat the oven to 425°F. Wipe or gently scrub the beets, being carefully not to break the skin. Trim off the leaves and the stem from each beet, leaving 1 inch of the stem intact, and leave the "tail" on. Keeping the golden beets and red beets separate, place each batch on a large sheet of aluminum foil and then drizzle each batch evenly with half of the olive oil. Bring the foil up around the beets and tightly seal the edges closed to create two neat packages.
Place the packets directly on the middle rack of the oven and roast the beets until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by opening a packet enough to pierce the largest beet with a knife. If the knife enters easily, the beet is done. Remove the packets from the oven, unwrap the beets, and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Continue to keep them separate so the red beets don't bleed onto the golden beets.
Using your hands, gently rub the skins from the red beets (or use a paring knife to peel them). Cut each beet into narrow wedges and transfer to a bowl. Remove the skins from the golden beets the same way, cut the beets into narrow wedges, and place in a separate bowl. Set the beets aside until serving.
For the vinaigrette:
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, and honey until blended, then whisk in the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set aside until serving.
For the avocado puree:
To make the avocado puree, one at a time, halve and pit the avocados and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin into a blender. Add the lemon juice and puree until smooth. Season with salt, transfer to a squeeze bottle with a wide tip, and set aside until serving.
For grilled green onions:
To grill the green onions, prepare a hot fire for direct-heat cooking in a charcoal or gas grill or preheat a ridged stove-top grill pan over high heat. Trim off the root end of each green onion and then cut off any damaged tips from the green tops. Coat the onions evenly with the olive oil. Place the onions on the grill grate directly over the fire or on the grill pan and cook, turning them as needed, until lightly charred on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes; the timing will depend on the size of the onions. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool, and cut crosswise into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
For edible "dirt":
To make the "dirt," preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a convection setting). In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, almond flour, all-purpose flour, coffee, and salt. Pour in the butter and stir with a wooden spoon until blended and crumbly. Spread the mixture on a sheet pan.
Bake until light golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Break the dough up into rough pieces, transfer to a food processor, and pulse until reduced to the consistency of coarse sand. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside until serving.
To serve, divide the vinaigrette evenly between the red and golden beets, toss gently, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange about 2 tablespoons of the "dirt" in a line on each individual serving plate. Using a slotted spoon, lift the beets from the vinaigrette (reserve the vinaigrette) and place the wedges randomly on top of the "dirt." Add a few of the green onion pieces and cheese cubes to each plate, again spacing them along the line of "dirt." Scatter the microgreens here and there along the line, then add dollops of the avocado puree. Drizzle some of the reserved vinaigrette over each salad and serve immediately.
Suggested Wine Pairings:
2016 SIMI Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County
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