I love beets. I love them in salads, salads, and as sides. I love them anywhere and I love them any time. Okay, Miss Seuss is leaving the building… you get the point. I love them. Lots.
This dish may look fancy, but there’s really nothing too complicated about it. Yes, it takes time… you must boil the beets, slice them thinly, and then mold them into rounds. But other than that, it’s simply a matter of stirring some cheese spread and building little stacks. I actually really like doing stuff like this- it’s meticulous and makes me feel like I’m doing art. Like a kid molding clay, except molding ad building beet stacks. Does that comparison work? Eh, I’m not convinced it does, but the visual is made, I suppose.
These can be made just before serving, or made ahead of time and then chilled until served. This makes them a great little treat for a gathering of sorts… you’ll surely impress people when you show up with these little glorious neon towers of goodness.
If you can’t get your hands on varied colors of beets, no biggie… just use what you can find (red are usually pretty easy to find). They’ll be delicious and beautiful regardless of color. Around here, beets run wild this time of year. To my surprise, these tasty golden beets were actually less in price than the reds.. seemed backwards, as they are usually tougher to find, but hey, I wasn’t gonna complain. They’re stunningly bright.
If you’re going to take the time to make these, you may as well make a bunch. No sense in going through the process for just a couple of bites… make as many as you can handle. That’s my recommendation anyway, coming from experience I might add. I couldn’t stop eating the stacks while I was making them… it was problematic. By the time I was done stacking, there were just three little stacks left. Ooops.
For this post, there’s no need to worry about specific measurements…
season to taste and make as many as you want!
for 3 tall napoleons, or 6 short ones…
6 beets- similar sizes and shapes, I used half golden and half red
4 oz goat cheese, *see note below
splash of milk or cream, whatever you have on hand (I use whole milk)
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (plus a little for the cheese)
optional: balsamic glaze & fresh ground black pepper
*for goat cheese, you can either buy plain and then season it up yourself
(with garlic, basil, salt, and pepper) or buy herbed goat cheese…
either way, it looks (and tastes) lovely if you add a little chopped fresh parsley
to the cheese spread- the herbs will poke out of the sides of the stacks, adding color and freshness
Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to boil
Chop the ends off of each beet
Toss the beets in the boiling water and cook for about 20-30 minutes, depending on beet size
When beets are completely cooked, remove them from the pot and lay them out to cool
You can run them under cool water to expedite the process
When cooked, beets’ peels come off very easily
USe your fingers to slide the peels off until they’re completely clean and smooth
And there you go! Perfectly clean little beets waiting to be eaten… 🙂
For the napoleons, you want the beet slices thin and even- a mandolin may
work well for this, but I don’t have one, so I just slice away!
(On second thought, that’s really just for looks, to make them appear delicate…
you can chop them however you choose, but this is what I do and recommend) 🙂
To create even rounds, I use a tablespoon, but you can use
whatever you like to create the size and shape you want…
Press down on each slice with the spoon until the edges cut
I use the remaining pieces for salads… or just gobble them up as I cook 😉
Continue until all slices are shaped… it’s a bit tedious, I know, but it’s
also what make them beautiful stacks
The time goes pretty fast if you nibble on the extra beet pieces, it’s a good distraction 😉
Okay, beet rounds are done! Keep them in separate piles so the red beets
don’t bleed onto the golden ones… they will do that, they turn everything they touch pink
Bright bright pink.
To make the goat cheese spread, add any seasonings you want to the cheese,
and then add a splash of milk or cream
Add a little liquid at a time, until the cheese is soft and spreadable
Be careful not to overdo it- you don’t want it runny. Just a tbsp or so should be good…
Alright, read to assemble!
Starting with one slice (it will be the bottom), scoop some goat cheese onto the beet
For the beet slices I had (1 tbsp rounds), 1/2 tsp goat cheese was just right…
Then place another slice on top of the cheese and press down to spread the cheese between the layers
Then add another beet slice, more cheese, and so on until you have the size stacks you want
(I personally like changing up the color patterns, some are every other color, some are two on two off, etc)
Once you have the stack the size you want it and things appear even, wipe the excess cheese off the sides
(If the cheese isn’t all the way to the edges of the beet rounds,
lightly press down on the stack until the cheese spreads to the sides)
And there you have it… little beautiful beet napoleons ready to impress
Sprinkle some fresh parsley pieces over the tops along with some fresh ground black pepper
If you’d like to finish it off with some balsamic glaze
(which is a cooked down balsamic vinegar, so it’s syrupy and slightly thick),
add a couple drops alongside the stacks
That’s it! Serve cold or at room-temp and enjoy!!