Goat cheese and beet mousse with roasted beets...
I know, when I mention, "beets," most immediately snuff up their nose and dismiss the root vegetable. Why? Because many have only enjoyed beets when consumed from a can.
Trust me, canned beets are nothing like their roasted, sweet and savory counterparts.
Where to begin:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub beets with soapy water (beets are root vegetables - essential to remove the grind and dirt from the skin). Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place beets on the foil and season again - olive oil, salt and pepper... then wrap the foil around the beets (like a little package) and place in the oven. Essential, this will steam and roast the beets at the same time.
Depending on the size of the beets, they will usually take about 40-60 minutes. They will be finished when tender to cut with a knife. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. At this point, if they are pink beets, I will use gloves... as the pink will stain your hands (and clothes too... be careful!) If golden beets, they will not stain your hands... Carefully remove the skin (beets will be hot, but always easier to remove the skin of the beets when warm).
With the roasted beets, we are going to serve the beets in three ways: one, simply roasted, as is; two, beet coulis; three, beet/goat cheese mousse.
Roasted - already cooked: simply toss with extra-virgin olive oil, touch of dijon mustard, crushed pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper and Himalayan sea salt.
Beet coulis - In a blender, puree 5 medium roasted (no skin) beets, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste), pinch of cayenne pepper and about 1/4 cup olive oil. Blend until smooth. May add a little more olive oil (consistency should be slightly thicker than a soup... able to keep it's shape when spooned onto a plate).
Beet/Goat Cheese Mousse - Beat together 4 oz goat cheese and 2 Tbsp heavy cream in a mixer... before fully whipped, add about 1 tsp beet coulis. This will give the mousse a hint of beet essence, as well as brilliant pink color.
As far as presentation - if different beet colors are available, use that to your advantage. For example, I used pink beets for the beet coulis and beet/goat cheese mousse... and golden beets for the roasted beets. This will provide a brilliant color contrast for the beautiful August summer.
Simple. Sophisticated. Healthy.