Haricots Verts, Mache, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad

The trick is to use a really good artisan goat cheese

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons French red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar
6 tablespoons walnut oil

2 medium beets, unpeeled, roots trimmed to ½ inch
½ pound haricots verts, cleaned
1 teaspoon salt
1 ounce mache, trimmed and washed
1 ½ minced shallots
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ crumbled fresh, mild goat cheese
¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Close the lid tightly and shake vigorously. 

In a small saucepan, cover the beets with water, add ¼ teaspoon salt, and simmer until a knife pierces the beets easily, about 30 minutes. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim the ends and gently rub off their skins with a paper towel. Rubbing off the skins, instead of of peeling it with a knife, allows the beets to keep their natural shape, so you’ll end up with attractive, round slices. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Set aside.

Bring 1 ½ quarts water to a boil and add the remaining salt. Cook the haricots verts until they are crisp but slightly cooked. Drain the cooked beans and refresh by plunging them immediately into ice water. This will stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color. Drain and set aside.

To assemble the salad, arrange the beet slices around the inside of the platter. Lightly drizzle the beets with a third of the vinaigrette. Pour the remaining vinaigrette into a bowl and lightly toss the cooked haircots verts, mache, and shallots to coat evenly. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Place the salad atop the beats in the center of the platter. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and toasted walnts and serve.

Adapted From The Union Square Café Cookbook