4 large beets, about 1 1/2 pounds, preferably gold
cup all-purpose flour
? cup seltzer water
Olive, peanut or vegetable oil, to fry the beets
1 large bunch arugula, washed and cut into thin ribbons
12 oil-cured pitted black olives, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ? tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup goat cheese or more to taste, crumbled
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 425?F. Wash the beets and place them in a roasting pan and roast until the outsides are charred and the beets are tender, about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Wearing gloves, peel the beets and cut into half moons about 1/3 inch thick. This can be done the night before serving: simply cover the beets and store in the refrigerator until ready to proceed.
2. In a small bowl, make a pastella by whisking together the flour and seltzer. The consistency should be slightly thicker than heavy whipping cream. You may need to add a little extra flour.
3. In a large fry pan, heat the frying oil to 350?F. Dip each beet segment into the pastella. The beets should be thinly coated. Carefully slip the coated beets into the oil, without overlap. You may have to fry in batches. Fry the beets until they are golden brown and puffy, about 4 minutes, turning them over once or twice. Remove to a paper towel-lined ovenproof plate and keep warm in a 200?F oven until all of the beets are fried.
4. In a small bowl, toss the arugula, olives, tomatoes and salt, to taste, until well mixed. Add the red wine vinegar, olive oil and goat cheese and toss again.
5. To serve, arrange the beets on a serving platter, top with the “salad” and serve at once, passing the pepper mill as desired.
In this recipe the cooked beets are dipped into a pastella which is an Italian batter made with sparkling water and all-purpose flour. Joe Simone suggests using water with a very mild flavor. Waters that are high in minerals will not do well here.
Fried Beets with Goat Che
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