1-2 medium beet(s), cooked (see Laura's tip below)
4 ounces (125 g) fresh goat's cheese or blue cheese
4 scant tablespoons (60 mL) pine nuts or broken walnuts
1/3 cup (75 mL) balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons (45-60 mL) olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish with fresh arugula leaves
Laura's tip for cooking a beet: "Simply boil it, unpeeled, for 45 minutes to an hour, until a fork poked in tells you that it's tender."
Peel and thinly slice the beet(s). Choose 8 of the nicest-looking slices, and reserve the remainder for another use. Divide the cheese into 4 pieces, pinch to soften slightly and shape each into an approximate round. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly (or, spread in a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring several times). In a small saucepan, boil the vinegar until it has been reduced by half and is syrupy.
Place a beet slice in the centre of each of 4 serving plates. Drizzle on a little olive oil, season with pepper, and top with a nugget of cheese. Drape a second beet slice over the top, like a floppy sun hat. Scatter a few nuts around. Drizzle with remaining oil and the reduced vinegar. Season with salt and a grind of pepper. Servea few stems of arugula on the side, also drizzled with the dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.