Red Hot Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
8 medium beets, about 1 3/4 lb, scrubbed
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
12 1/4 inch thick baguette slices, toasted
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese (about 4 oz)
1 Tsp poppy seeds
4 heads of Bibb lettuce (3 oz each) leaves separated
In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer the beets to a plate and let cool, then peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid in the saucepan.
Add the maple syrup to the pan and boil over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the beets and cayenne pepper and simmer over medium heat until the beets are sweet and hot, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a plate. Boil the cooking liquid until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Return the beets to the pan and let cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk 2 Tbsp of the beet syrup with the vinegar, olive oil and garlic and season with salt. Spread each toast with 2 Tsp of goat cheese; sprinkle with poppy seeds.
In a large bowl, toss the bibb lettuce with the beets and vinaigrette. Mound the salad on plates and set the goat cheese toasts alongside and serve.