I love beets. I just didn't know it until my wife got me addicted. We grow a lot of beets in our garden and we use them in all kinds of different ways. We also raise chickens for eggs. With fresh eggs and fresh dug beets you can hardly go wrong. Being frugal I like using the tops but in this case I only used the stems and the greens went back to the chickens. I used a two inch round cutter to cut the beets and the same cutter as a mold to plate the dish. A nice variation is to add a slice of cured smoked salmon rolled into a rosette with some creme fraiche. Oh, and although I think the picture is pretty, cut, mix and combine this dish and by all means spread the salmon roe out. A little, although I think the roe is great, goes a long way. —thirschfeld
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the beets in an ovenproof casserole and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Spread the thyme across the top. Cover with foil. Place in the oven and bake for one hour. Some beets take longer to cook than others so at the one hour mark I test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the largest beet. It should pierce easily until you get close to the middle. Then it should firm up. Don't worry by the time they cool there will be plenty of carry over cooking. If they are to firm place them back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool.
For the beet stems:
Place the beet stems, shallots, white wine into a medium sized saute pan and place them over medium heat. Once they start to boil lower the heat and simmer until the wine is gone with the exception of a few bubbles. Add the champagne vinegar and reduce to a glaze. Add the balsamic, stir and remove from the heat. Let it cool to room temperature. Place the stem mixture in a mixing bowl and add the walnut oil, tarragon and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a coarse strainer set over a mixing bowl smash the eggs through the mesh with the back of a spoon. Scrape the back of the strainer because a lot of eggy goodness will be hanging out their. Cut the each beet into two 1/2 inch slices. Place on a cutting board and cut into rounds using a 2 inch diameter round cookie cutter. You want to have 8 rounds when finished. Season them with a touch of salt and a little pepper. Place the cookie cutter onto the center of a plate. Spoon a tablespoon of the beet stem mixture into the cutter spreading the mixture to the sides. Place a beet round on top and gently push down. Repeat one more time and remove the cutter by holding the top beet with a finger and lifting the cutter. Spoon a good sized portion of egg onto the top and garnish with a small spoonful of salmon roe. Repeat this process with the remaining 3 plates. Serve.