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Grilled Beets with Fresh Goat Cheese Dressing

Tender, with a hint of crusty char, chef Bill Taibe's grilled beets make a tasty addition to any summer gathering.Also try: Grilled Radicchio with Lemon and Pine Nuts, Grilled Potato and Pickled Green Garlic Salad

  • servings: 6

Ingredients

For the Beets

  • 6 medium red beets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Chive blossoms (optional), for garnish

For the Goat Cheese Dressing

  • 3/4 cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup goat's milk or half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen or toasted ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the beets: Place beets in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place each beet on an individual piece of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil; add a sprig of thyme to each and wrap to enclose.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat a grill: If using a charcoal grill, make a fire in your grill. When the charcoals are completely covered in gray ash, hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grid; count how many seconds you can comfortably leave it there. When you can hold it there for 2 to 3 seconds, you have medium-high heat and are ready to grill. If you are using a gas grill, heat the grill for 15 minutes with the lid closed. Before beginning to cook, reduce the temperature by turning the knobs to medium-high.

  3. Step 3

    Place beets on grill and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Make the dressing: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together goat cheese, goat's milk, fennel pollen, and honey; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  5. Step 5

    Unwrap beets and cut into 1-inch-thick slices. Brush slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook, turning, until grill marks appear. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add dressing, garnish with sea salt, and sprinkle with chive blossoms, if using. Serve immediately.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, June 2011