Beet Salad with a Goat Cheese-Avocado Mousse
This is some seriously sexy food. It's a first course kind of dish you would see in many a café in Paris, and it's what my food dreams are made up up. The creaminess of the mousse, with the crispness of the vegetables, crunchiness of the pine nuts and subtle zip of lemon juice is a winning combination.
Beet Salad with a Goat Cheese-Avocado Mousse serves 4
125 g avocado (1 whole)
125 g fresh goat cheese
15 ml lemon juice
320 g cooked beets (2 large)
220 g grilled zucchini
2 T olive oil for over the top
2 t chopped chives
2 T toasted pine nuts
4 t fresh lemon juice for over the top
If you do not have toasted pine nuts on hand, toast some up in a thick-bottomed pan on low, turning them every few minutes until golden brown. Once done, set them on a plate in order to cool.
I bought my beets already cooked and vacuumed sealed because it helps me make fast salads for our big family. If you do not have that, you can roast or boil your own beets for this dish. I also had some leftover grilled zucchini from the day before's BBQ and used that up as well. If you do not have that, slice your zucchini in long ribbons about 1/2 of an inch thick (a little over 1 cm). You can BBQ it yourself or simply in a HOT pan with oil, sear the zucchini until soft (about 2 minutes per side). Then let cool a bit. When cooled, slice in thick matchsticks about a half inch wide.
After the beets are cooked and cooled. You will use a mandolin to slice them in very thin sheets. It almost looks like beef carpaccio when executed properly.
Chop the chives.
In a small cuisinart machine, mix the avocado, goat cheese, lemon juice & s&p together until smooth, light and fluffy. This took me about 2 minutes.
To plate it, evenly scoop the mousse onto 4 plates and spread out in a circle with the back of the spoon. Lay the beets in a smaller circle inside of the mousse, which allows the mousse to be seen. Then lay the zucchini in a smaller pile atop the beets. Drizzle the lemon juice & olive oil over the top. Drop the pine nuts & chives and finish with a little bit of fresh ground black pepper & salt (do not need much salt as the lemon juice works in the same way).