Baby Beet & Clementine Columns

A great appetizer for a mini dinner party or just to schmancy up for fun.

Ingredients (for three!)
3 clementines
3 Trader Joe’s baby beets, peeled & boiled (or whatever prep)
handful of walnuts
handful of leafy greens
goat cheese
thyme
salt and pepper
walnut oil or olive oil

dressing:
walnut oil or olive oil
garlic powder
one orange, juiced & at least a bit zested
1/8th onion, minced
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to broil. Peel your clementines and then slice them up horizontally- cut just a thick enough slice that each piece stays together as much as possible. Sprinkle clementine slices with the beet juice that comes with the TJ baby beet pack. This not only creates a super creepy-looking emergency kitchen scene but enhances the flavor of the clementine and I like to think helps the overall fusion effect.

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Slice up your beets into medium-thick slices. Lay each beet out on a baking sheet as a line of its slices in descending size order. This is so it is easier to assemble a structurally-sound column later.

Drizzle the beets with a little oil of your choosing. S&P. Sprinkle on some thyme. Roast under the broiler for just a few minutes, tossing if and as necessary- just to create a slightly deeper taste. If you like ’em a little charred even, go for it.

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Plate each tower starting with a few strategically-placed arugula or other edible green leaves. Top with the biggest slice of each clementine or beet (depending on your particular size sitch). Then alternate with a slice of the other thing. Then dab a bit of goat cheese on there.

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Repeat with descending smaller slices until you have at least three slices of clementine and three slices of beet. Top with a little dab of goat cheese and shake of thyme.

Mix up your dressing! General rule of thumb is at least half as much vinegar as oil. Other than that, taste-test and experiment to see how much of each ingredient you’d like in your dressing!

Heat a small UN-oiled pan on high, toss in your walnuts and toast them while shaking the pan around for just a minute or so- until your kitchen smells AWESOME and they are the tiniest bit charred.

To serve, top your columns with a few warm, toasted walnuts & then drizzle the dressing over the stack. Don’t soak- that will cause collapse. Maybe you do your elegant deal and then leave the dressing out if people want to serve themselves more.

For some reason (probably the walnuts smell), this appears to be the only (weirdo) picture I took post-stacking:

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But, there’s also this far more food-like pic mid-way through enjoyment! Woo.

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