A simple yet elegant appetizer, these napoleons wow guests. For a vegan option, omit the blue cheese or swap for the plant-based cheese of your choosing.
Golden Beet, Toasted Walnut, and Blue Cheese Napoleons
Recipe by Brenden Kawakami
3 large golden beets, washed
.5 cup walnuts
3 oz blue cheese (like gorgonzola picante or La Peral)
.5 cup melted butter or olive oil
2-3 sprigs fresh sage
Prepare coals in a fire pit or preheat oven to 375.
Wash beets well, wrap in aluminum foil, and place inside a large cast iron dutch oven with the lid on.
Bake for an hour or until a small, sharp knife can be inserted and easily removed from the beet. Remove from heat and let cool in the aluminum foil. The steam will help separate the skin from the beet.
Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts. Continuously move the pan until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Remove walnuts and crush or chop them. Place in a bowl and add the butter or olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the sage leaves and 'fry' them until the butter is flavored and the leaves are crunchy. remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, peel their skin by rubbing your thumbs up the sides, pushing the skin away from the flesh. Rinse under cold water. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice 1/8" thick slices of beet crosswise. Stack them on top of each other and carefully slice them all until you have a stack of square beet slices (any trim pieces can be eaten as a snack).
Arrange beet slices on a plate. Top with a sprinkle of walnuts, blue cheese, and a drizzle of the sage butter. Place another beet slice on top and repeat. When you are finished, sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top and garnish the plate with the fried sage leaves.