This is one of my favorite salads. It's simple to make and as long as you don't let the goat cheese sit in the beet juice for too long, it looks beautiful too!
Beet slices with mint and goat cheese
2-3 large beets, whole
handful of fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons minced shallot (or sweet onion if you prefer)
mirin (available in Asian stores, you can use simple syrup if you can’t find it)
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled goat cheese
Wash the beets and trim the greens (leave a few inches of stems on). Boil until tender, 20-40 mins depending on the size of the beets – you can poke them occasionally with a fork to check. When the beets are done, run them under cold water and rub the skin off with your hands. You’ll look like you just murdered someone, so wear gloves if you plan on going anywhere.
While the beets are cooking, dice the onion very fine and chop the mint. Put both in a mason jar. Add rice vinegar, olive oil, mirin, and salt and pepper to taste. About a quarter cup of rice vinegar to a third cup of olive oil to 1-2 tablespoons mirin. It will depend how sweet you want it, I usually use 1 T mirin and equal parts oil and vinegar, but I like things more vinegary than most people. Start with a tablespoon of mirin, you can always add more but it’s very hard to correct once it’s too sweet. Shake it all up in the jar and taste it, correct the vinegar – oil – sweetener – salt ratios to personal taste.
Slice the beets very thin on a mandolin (or with a knife, slice as thin as possible). Arrange the slices in layers on a serving plate. Drizzle each layer with the dressing, making sure there is mint and onion on each. Top with the goat cheese crumbles just before serving. (If you want to store it for a few days, leave the goat cheese off until you want to serve it, otherwise the cheese will absorb all the beet juice and turn into bright pink sludge.)
So simple, and so tasty! Pairs well with a crisp white wine or cold sake.