Hi there. If I could have your attention for a moment, I would just like to point out that we are already two-thirds of the way through January. Gasp. I’m not complaining though, because I am only 110 days away from finishing another semester. Yes, I counted. Besides learning how to “professionally develop” myself (yeah, that’s a real class,) my weekend has been spent parked in front of the TV watching cooking shows and occasionally flipping to the news, only left to wonder if anyone was going to mention something other than the inauguration that hasn’t really happened yet. Again, I won’t complain. I love that stuff. Since there’s really no good way to transition to our next topic… here we go.
Beets. Smooth, Riley. I’m relatively new to beets. I always see them at the market, but I usually just walk by, mainly because I don’t know very many ways to use them. Also, it feels to me like beets are the kind of thing that are always on the menu at the old folks home. I came up with this Beet and Blood Orange Salad that had me falling in love with beets. So for my second go-around with this earthy root vegetable, I turned to this Beet, Bacon, and Herbed Goat Cheese Flatbread from Kelsey Nixon that I have been dying to try. An herbed goat cheese acts as a sauce on top of this crispy grilled flatbread. I scatter some roasted baby beets, spinach, and bacon over the top and finish it off with some fresh lemon juice.
P.S. I apologize for my excessive use of goat cheese in the recent past. Some of you may find it obnoxious, but I am having a hard time contemplating that kind of mindset. So I will probably ignore it. Forgive me. I’m sorry. Kind of. Not really.
- 2 red baby beets, peeled
- 2 golden baby beets, peeled
- 4 slices thin-cut bacon, diced
- 6 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 (12 ounce) ball pizza dough, recipe below
- 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets in two pieces of aluminum foil, separating the red and golden beets. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, cut the beets into ½-inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving the bacon grease.
- Stir together the goat cheese, rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a ¼-inch thickness. Brush one side of the dough with some of the reserved bacon grease. Place the bread, grease side down, on the grill pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly charred. Brush the other side with more bacon grease, flip the dough, and grill for another 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the dough to a work surface. Spread the goat cheese evenly over the surface of the flatbread. Top with the spinach, beets, and bacon and drizzle the lemon juice over the top. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in ½ cup of warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy.
- Combine the flour, salt, and remaining teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and olive oil and pulse to combine. Gradually add enough of the remaining cup of water to form a smooth, wet dough that rides around the sides of the food processor.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 45 minutes, until doubled in volume.