Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Bites
Here’s a cute little appetizer recipe inspired by the 52 New Foods Challenge, my new year’s resolution to try one new food with my family each week in 2015.
While I’ve loved beets for ages, my four year olds have been quite steadfast in their refusal to give beets a chance. Max, my supertaster, can detect their earthy flavor when I sully a fruity berry and banana smoothie by slipping in a beet to the mix. “Mommy, ” he says with furrowed brow, “did you put beets in here?!” J’ accuse!
But still, I persist. Beets, after all, are among the sweetest vegetables the earth has to offer. Their bright colors, moreover, should naturally appeal to children. Texturewise, they’re soft and easy for little mouths to chew. Beets should be a no-brainer for kids!
And so, I scheduled beets for week #2 of my #52NewFoods challenge, and chose a super-easy execution of them that my children could participate in: mini Napoleons. Moreover, I thought that sandwiching one of their faves– goat cheese–between the sliced beets would be a wise approach; they’d have to at least engage with the beet in order to access the cheese.
As it turned out: they thoroughly enjoyed making the napoleons. They pressed soft goat cheese down on on the sliced beets with their little paws. They chose cookie cutter shapes and pressed down on the beet/cheese layers to create adorable little shapes. They sprinkled pink sea salt atop each napoleon as a garnish. And when all was said and done, they quickly peeled off the layers of beet and chucked them on my plate in order to access their beloved goat cheese. Oh well. More for me!
If I were making these for grown ups or a party (they’d be a fabulous offering for a brunch buffet), I’d drizzle the finished product with some good oil and balsamic vinegar as well.
Recipe: Mini Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleons
- Beets (golden or red, or a combination thereof)
- Soft goat cheese (chevre); herbed would work nicely, too.
- Cookie cutters
- To garnish: sea salt, olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar
- Prepare beet(s) as follows (can be done the night before):
- Trim off attached greens and place in a pot of water deep enough to submerge beet. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for one hour or until beet can be pierced all the way through with a fork.
- When beet(s) are done cooking, drain the cooking water. Holding hot beet under cold running water, use a metal spoon to gently scrape off the outer skin. (Or, to get kids involved, let beet cool down and have children scrape off the skin over a bowl.)
- Let beet(s) cool before using. Or, refrigerate overnight if making in advance.
- Slice beet(s) into layers of even thickness
- Scoop a dollop of soft goat cheese onto one slice, and using hands, press it down so that it covers the layer evenly, to desired thickness (Kids can do this step)
- Cover the goat cheese with another slice. (Kids can do this step)
- Using cookie cutter(s), press down to create desired shapes. (Kids can do this step).
- Cut away surrounding scraps using a paring knife.
- Repeat steps above until desired quantities are made.
- Garnish napoleons with salt, olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar. (Kids can do this step)