Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang's Salad Tasting Plate: Roasted Beet Napoleon

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 11 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 1 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1 1/2 pounds large yellow or red beets, washed and trimmed

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 recipe Herbed Goat Cheese, recipe follows, cut into 8 round slices

1 to 1 1/2 cups mixed baby lettuces, washed and dried

1/4 cup Spago House Dressing, recipe follows

1/4 cup Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette, recipe follows

1 ounce toasted hazelnuts, recipe follows, coarsely chopped

Herbed Goat Cheese:

2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (7 or 8-ounce) log goat cheese

Spago House Salad Dressing:

2 large shallots, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons zinfandel vinegar

2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil


Freshly ground white pepper

Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette:

1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice

1 shallot, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/3 cup hazelnut oil

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toasted Hazelnuts:

1 cup hazelnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the beets in a small roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to reach about 1/4 of the way up the sides of the beets. Cover the pan with foil, and roast the beets until they are tender, 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes. To check for doneness, gently insert a bamboo skewer into a beet. The skewer should slide through easily. Remove the beets from the pan, allow to cool, and then peel. 
  3. Cut each beet into 1/4-inch-thick round slices. Cut each slice with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. (You will need 10 rounds). Cut trimmings into 1/4-inch dice and reserve 1/2 cup for garnish. 
  4. In a saute pan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil. Lower to a simmer and poach beets 1 minute on each side. With a slotted spatula, remove and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. 
  5. When ready to assemble, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan. Arrange the slices of Herbed Goat Cheese in the pan and warm slightly, turning them with a small spatula just to warm both sides. This has to be done quickly, or the cheese will melt. 
  6. To assemble the napoleons, place 1 of the beet rounds on a firm, flat surface and begin to layer. Top with a slice of goat cheese, then another beet round, a second slice of cheese, another beet round, a third slice of cheese, and a beet round. (Continue until you have 5 layers of beets and 4 layers of cheese.) Carefully cut through layers, dividing into 3 wedges. Repeat with the remaining beets and cheese. 
  7. To serve, arrange 3 of the wedges, pointed ends facing out, in a circle in the center of each plate. Toss the baby lettuces with the Spago House Dressing and mound half of the lettuces on top of each arranged napoleon. Drizzle 1/2 of the Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette around each mound. Sprinkle toasted nuts and reserved diced beets on top of drizzled vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Herbed Goat Cheese:

  1. Combine the parsley, chives, thyme, and pepper and place on a flat surface. Roll the log of cheese in the mixture, coating all sides and retaining the shape of the log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  2. 1 (7 or 8-ounce) log
  3. Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000

Spago House Salad Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and the mustard. Whisk in the vinegars and then the olive and vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.
  2. 1 1/4 cups
  3. Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Adventures in the Kitchen", Random House, 1991

Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil. Lower to a simmer and reduce until only 1/3 cup remains. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, shallot, thyme, vinegar, and orange zest. 
  3. Slowly whisk in both oils until thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed. 
  4. 1 1/3 cups
  5. Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, "Pizza, Pasta & More!," Random House, 2000

Toasted Hazelnuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the hazelnuts on a medium baking tray and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. (This can be done in a toaster oven). Remove to a clean towel and rub to remove as much of the skin as possible. Chop coarsely and use when needed.