Beets that Bleat – an Appetizer!

I love beets and find that they are really versatile and can blend flavours in many different directions.  This appetizer is wonderful and eye candy as well, so I hope you will like it as much as all my testers have.

My most recent rendition of this recipe was for my parents friends on my recent trip to PEI.  So, this post is dedicated to Mum and Dad, Shirley, Verna, Ted, and Ray.  I really enjoyed our lunch!

I saw a picture of an appetizer like this while browsing the internet, so I had to try it because not only was it beautiful, it sounded delicious.    I roasted the beets with their skins on.  Rather than the usual practice in recipes of wrapping them in tin foil, which is really wasteful, my method is to wash them, oil them in the surface, then cover in a pyrex dish and bake them.  They are soooo much more flavourful that boiled beets, but do take a long time to cook.

My version of this recipe is at the end of this post.  The SAVEUR link is here, look at their picture, it is really nice as well.

Layered Beet Appetizer

I tried this recipe from the SAVEUR magazine website and have adapted it with a variation on the filling and dressing.  This is a wonderful appetizer or addition to a salad as a first course.  I have made it several times now to rave reviews even from people who are not keen on the individual ingredients.

Ingredients Method
Roasted Beets:

4 medium beets  with tops cut off

1 Tblsp  vegetable or olive oil

(Note:  this method of doing beets creates much more flavor  and better colour than boiling. The method of oiling and baking in a pyrex pan is better than the usual instruction of using aluminum foil, and also better for the environment!)

Use fresh beets, not the type that come in a bag.  Cut off tops and leave about a ½ inch of the leaves.  Wash each beet, dry it, then but oil liberally around the whole beet.  Place in pyrex pan with maybe a teaspoon of water, and roast at 350 for as long as it takes to make then fork tender.  This is usually at least an hour, and can sometimes a fair bit more.  Keep tabs at the end because they go from not done to really done quickly.

When beets are cooled enough, peel off the skin and clean off bits, but do not rinse them.

SAVE the remaining oil and juices for the dressing.


1 pkg (about 170g or 4 ounces) of chevre, the type that breaks apart

About 2 Tblsp yoghout or sour cream to soften the cheese

1 clove garlic

½ tsp Herbes de Provence

Salt to taste – a few shakes


Place all these ingredients in a food processor.  If you don’t have one then do it by hand and use a garlic press.  Don’t try to use a blender, it makes it too runny.

Cut the beets into slices about ¼ inch thick.  Spread about 1 tsp on each slice, you don’t want it too thick or they will topple over.  Press each new slice on to the cheese enough to stick but not to push out the cheese.  You can assemble the pieces  in whatever order will make a flat sitting mound.  The first time I made them I then cut the stacks into perfect circles with a pastry circle, then you get perfect sizes.  Since then I just cut the stacks into quarters and live with a ragged edge.  Let you degree of anal fixation be your guide.


2 Tblsp orange juice concentrate or boil some orange juice to reduce it

1 shallot chopped very finely

1 TB juice from the roasted beets

2 T olive oil

1 TB balsalmic vinegar

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

A little garlic

These are approximate quantities.  Play with it.

Boil the shallots in the orange juice for a minute to soften them, then add the rest.

Spoon a little dressing over the beet stacks.

These keep for about 2 days in the fridge.  They are best if they have been allowed to cool in the fridge until solid, at least a couple hours.  The cheese does take on a pink colour, but they taste great.
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