Okay, people, I know what you’re thinking: Oh goody! Beets! What’s the second prize? Brussels sprouts? Trust me, this sandwich is a winner. It’s a much-modified version of a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine years ago. I like it because it’s made from two easy-to-grow-in-cool-weather ingredients that gardeners often have on hand: arugula (sometimes known as rocket) and beets. Roasted beets, earthy and slightly sweet, contrast nicely with the peppery flavor of arugula and the tanginess of chèvre. Even my fussy six-year-old likes this one. Go ahead and serve it with iced tea dolled up with mint from the garden.
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, organic if possible
- A dash of salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil, organic if possible
- 3 or 4 small roasted beets (preferably left over from dinner the night before), thinly sliced into discs
- 8 slices bread (I use a crusty boule-style bread; my favorite is “country wheat”)
- 6 ounces goat cheese (my local one, Monterey Chèvre, comes in a thyme and basil flavor, and I use that)
- About 24 arugula leaves (arugula, which is like catnip to me, works best here, but you can substitute other zingy greens such as dandelion greens and watercress)
- Half a small red onion, sliced into very thin rings (use more or less depending on how much you like raw onion or whether you have a date later)
- Turn on broiler. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper, then drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss beets in this vinaigrette and set aside.
- Brush one side of the bread with some of the remaining olive oil and toast under the broiler until firm and golden, for one minute or less (you don’t want to blacken the edges!).
- Remove from oven, turn bread over, and smoosh goat cheese onto bread. Broil until cheese is hot and slightly golden, one minute or less.
- Remove beets from vinaigrette. Top each piece of chèvre topped bread with beets, then arugula, and then onions. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the sandwiches, which can be served either open-faced or closed.
Yield: 4 servings
From "Eat Where You Live", Copyright © 2008 by Lou Bendrick. Used by arrangement with The Mountaineers Books.