A variety of textures make this leafless salad a favorite. If you're not up to making fried cheese balls, a simple sprinkling of fresh goat cheese would still add a lovely tang.
8-10beetsI used a mix of red beets, yellow beets and chiogga beets
1/3large shallotpeeled and sliced thin
1/2cupextra virgin olive oil
2tablespoonswhite balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6ouncesgoat cheeseat room temperature
1avocadocut in half and seeded
1/4cupshelled pistachios or pistachio meat
Microgreens for garnish
Snipped chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash and trim the beets and pat dry. Place the beets in foil, making packets of 3-4 beets per packet. Drizzle with some olive oil and kosher salt. Wrap the beets tightly and place on a baking sheet then bake for 40 minute to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven, unwrap and set aside to cool.
Once cool, rub the skin of the beets off the cooked beet. Using a paper towel sometimes makes this easier. Cut the beets into quarters or chunks and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Place the sliced shallot in a small food processor and chop finely. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sugar and whiz to combine until the dressing is thickened and the shallots are minced fine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the beets to marinate until plating.
Remove the seed from the halved avocado and scoop 1/4 of the avocado out with a spoon so you have large chunks. Continue with the rest of the avocado and set aside.
Roll the goat cheese into small balls about the size of a large gumball. Gather three shallow bowls and place flour in one bowl, whisk egg in another bowl and place the bread crumbs in the remaining bowl. Dredge a goat cheese ball first in flour, then egg and then in the bread crumbs. Repeat flour, egg and bread crumb steps one more times. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the cheese balls.
Fry cheese balls in batches of three or four at a time for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Plate the marinated beets with the avocado chunks and the fried cheese balls that have been sliced in half or kept whole. Drizzle with the remaining shallot dressing and a sprinkling of microgreens, chopped pistachios and snipped chives. Season with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired. Can be served immediately or at room temperature.