Veronica’s Roasted Beets and Fennel with Goat Cheese Crostini
Veronica was my sous chef in the last restaurant I ran. When she made beets, they were so amazing that people would die! Well, not literally die. But only because they wanted to stick around to eat more of Veronica’s beets.
For the beets
- 1–2 lb beets, washed
- ½ head fennel
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 2 TBS walnut oil or olive oil (not in box)
- 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper (not in box)
- 1 lemon, washed and zested
- handful of lemon thyme sprigs, washed
- handful of fresh parsley sprigs, washed
- 2 TBS water
For the crostini
- 1/2 a loaf of French bread
- 20–40 cloves of roasted garlic*
- your portion of goat cheese
- 1 TBS finely chopped chives
- 1- Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel the beets. I like to put a sheet of foil, plastic wrap, or parchment paper on top of my cutting board before doing this to make cleanup a snap. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the beets, then cut each beet in half, then cut each half into 8-10 wedges.
- 2- Cut the fennel in half and you will see the core at the bottom that looks like a triangle. Cut this out and discard it, as well as the stems (although you can save the dark green fronds for garnish). Cut the fennel half into 8-10 wedges. Cut the shallot in half and also cut it into wedges. Grate the yellow lemon zest and set it aside for the crostini, then slice the lemon into rounds.
- 3- Put the vegetables in a baking dish with the lemon, lemon thyme, and parsley and toss them around with the oil, salt, and pepper. Add the water and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes tightly covered, then remove the cover and roast for another 15 minutes. If you’re making this with the Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, you can do them at the same time, in 2 different dishes.
- 4- Use tongs or a slotted spoon to put the roasted beets, fennel, and shallots onto a plate. Leave the liquid, roasted lemon, and roasted herbs behind. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds and some fresh lemon thyme and parsley.
- 5- For the crostini, slice the bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub with olive oil and toast in the 375 oven for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile use a fork to mash up the roasted garlic with the goat cheese, reserved lemon zest, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the goat cheese mixture thickly onto the toasted bread, and serve with the beets.
- *For the Roasted Garlic: If you have roasted garlic from the Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, squeeze the garlic out of the skins and use a fork to mash it up. If you don’t, cut a whole head of garlic in half through all the cloves. Put both halves on a small piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap them in the foil and bake in the 375 oven for 40 minutes. Then squeeze the garlic out of the skins.