Beet salad with white cheese, fried capers and kale chips

By • February 27, 2010 2 Comments

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Author Notes: I got the idea of fried capers from a piece Amanda had some time ago in the New York Times Magazine. Then I received some tiny bottles of aged balsamico as a gift, ranging in age from eight to forty years, and I discovered what even a few drops of the syrupy eight-year-old could do for beets. White cheese started as an enrichment and color contrast. Finally I learned to dry seasoned kale to a crisp and delicate state and found that its earthy flavor complemented sweeter beets.magdance


Serves eight as part of a meal

  • 2 tablespoons capers, either packed in salt or vinegar
  • 4 medium-size beets, about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (or curly kale), about 1/2 pound
  • 2-4 ounces white cheese, such as chevre, feta or a fresh farmer's cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil for baking kale and dressing
  • 20 drops balsamic vinegar, preferably aged
  1. Wrap beets in foil and bake 1-2 hours at 400 degrees until they can be easily pierced with a fork (through foil). Cool.
  2. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees. Wash kale and strip from stems, discarding stems. Toss kale with 2 tablespoons olive oil and coarse salt and pepper. Bake 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, bringing buried strips to the top. All should be crisp and blackened in spots when done. Cool.
  3. If capers are packed in salt, soak them for 1/2 hour or more (taste to make sure they are not too salty). Drain and pat dry. If packed in vinegar, rinse in a sieve and pat dry.
  4. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan and fry capers until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Cool.
  5. Peel and slice beets and make long, overlapping layers on a large platter, preferably white.
  6. Arrange strips of kale between and around the rows of beet slices.
  7. Sprinkle beet slices with salt, pepper, drops of olive oil (may not need entire 1/2 cup), and drops of balsamico.
  8. Dot beets with dabs of white cheese.
  9. Sprinkle the platter with fried capers.

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