This dish was inspired by a recipe found in Heather Crosby's Yum Universe cookbook called "Beet, Apple and Onion Gratin". The recipe stood out because it looked very similar to an amazing dish that my good friend David Stockhausen of the Yam and Bean and Pie Ranch once made. We served it at the Disposable Film Festival last year, and it blew the roof off.
The Goat Cheese Root Bake is a bit different than these dishes because in place of a cashew sauce (from Yum Universe) or a cheese sauce (from Yam and Bean), I just used goat cheese. Straight up. I also went ahead and used what I had on hand in my fridge and pantry. The result was borderline magical - my favorite part being the gooey goat cheese bits on the bottom of the pan.
Goat Cheese Root Bake
- 3 small or 1 large, red beet
- 1 medium yukon gold potato
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 tbsp shaved raw ginger (shaved with a peeler)
- 1tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup goat cheese, preferably creamy
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Peel and slice onion. In a small pan over medium/low heat, warm 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 tsp olive oil. add slice onions and a pinch of salt and stir till onion is nice and coated in onion. You are aiming for caramelize the onions, so keep stirring periodically until they are a nice shade of golden brown. Meanwhile, slice your roots.
3. Slice beets into thin rounds, and then slice the potato and fennel the same thickness. Remember to keep stirring those onions!
4. Place goat cheese in a bowl and whip lightly with a spoon, fork or whisk so it reaches a desired creamy consistency and is easy to work with.
5. Once the onions are caramelized, group all ingredients around a cutting board and get ready to assemble. You can use 2 ramekins, or 1 small oven-proof dish. Start by spreading some coconut oil in the bottom of the dish(es). Add a layer of beet discs and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Next, spread a few caramelized onions, a light layer of fennel and finally dollop your goat cheese so that when it melts it will cover your layering nicely.
6. Repeat! Add beets, salt, pepper, onions, fennel and goat cheese. Press down gently to smoosh the layers together. Add ginger shavings on top and then cover with potato slices. top the potatoes with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and some paprika or chipotle powder for the finishing touch.
7. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, serve warm not hot.