California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

A Very California Salad
and a bit of Oregon too

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese
Willamette Valley Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt
Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

A soft-ripened goat cheese accented with a line of bluish ash reminiscent of the fog often blanketing the expansive Humboldt County, California coastline is the centerpiece of this salad.

Pioneering American cheesemaker Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove conceived Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese in the early 80s in homage to cow’s milk French Morbier, with ash separating its light cakey layers.

Beets are available at California Farmers Markets year-round. And hazelnuts come from our wetter neighbor just to the north, Oregon (close enough).

Peppery arugula, earthy beets, toasty hazelnuts, and a tangy yogurt harmonize with the elegant and luscious goat cheese in this quintessential West Coast salad. A sweet-tart beet vinaigrette adds sunny notes with hints of herbs and fruit.

Arugula Flowers

Blooming in January, pretty arugula flowers come from my Southern California garden. Arugula flowers make a delightful garnish, they taste like light arugula leaves, maybe with a hint of sweetness.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Cypress Grove describes their cheese with flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the creamline develops, the flavor intensifies and the subtle tanginess grows more pronounced.

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt

Simply mix Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of ground turmeric, a few grinds of black pepper, and a splash of maple syrup.

Alternatively, melt a small pat of butter in a little pan, then add about 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric and cook to release the bright intense flavors of the spice. Then blend the turmeric butter into the yogurt along with black pepper and maple syrup.

In addition to its complementary flavor combination, black pepper is said to enhance turmeric’s healthful properties. Yogurt adds another layer of flavor and texture to the salad. Try a beet dipped in yogurt, the hint of maple highlights the sweetness of the beet.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Beets

Roast cleaned medium-sized red and golden beets on a sheet pan in a 400°F oven until tender (45 -60 minutes depending on size). Let cool. Rub off the skins, trim into bite-sized pieces. Place in separate bowls and season with a very small splash of olive oil and raspberry vinegar, salt and pepper.

Beet Vinaigrette

  • 1 T. beet juice
  • 1 T. raspberry vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 t. dijon mustard
  • very small garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • pinch of dried mint
  • sugar, salt, and pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a small jar and shake until combined.

Beet Vinaigrette Recipe

Pair with California Pinot Noir

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Beets and goat cheese have a particular affinity for Pinot Noir.

Decoy Pinot Noir

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

To Compose the Salad

  • turmeric-black pepper-maple yogurt
  • arugula
  • beet vinaigrette
  • red beets
  • golden beets
  • toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • arugula flowers
  • humboldt fog goat cheese, sliced

Smear turmeric yogurt along one side of a shallow bowl. Toss arugula with vinaigrette. Mound arugula and beets in the center. Sprinkle hazelnuts over the salad. Place a slice of Humboldt Fog goat cheese off to one side. Garnish with arugula flowers.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

This California Salad was inspired by one we just adored over the holiday…at Restaurant 555 East in Long Beach, CALIFORNIA.

2 thoughts on “California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad”

  1. I love everything about this post – the salad is a perfect harmony with the beets and the humboldt fog – and I can’t wait to try the yogurt dressing. I always threw away those flowers on the arugula but you put them to great use. And Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wines too. As usual, your photography is stellar.

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