A Very California Salad
and a bit of Oregon too
Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese
Willamette Valley Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt
Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette
A soft-ripened goat cheese accented with a line of bluish ash reminiscent of the fog often blanketing the expansive Humboldt County, California coastline is the centerpiece of this salad.
Pioneering American cheesemaker Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove conceived Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese in the early 80s in homage to cow’s milk French Morbier, with ash separating its light cakey layers.
Beets are available at California Farmers Markets year-round. And hazelnuts come from our wetter neighbor just to the north, Oregon (close enough).
Peppery arugula, earthy beets, toasty hazelnuts, and a tangy yogurt harmonize with the elegant and luscious goat cheese in this quintessential West Coast salad. A sweet-tart beet vinaigrette adds sunny notes with hints of herbs and fruit.
Blooming in January, pretty arugula flowers come from my Southern California garden. Arugula flowers make a delightful garnish, they taste like light arugula leaves, maybe with a hint of sweetness.
Cypress Grove describes their cheese with flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the creamline develops, the flavor intensifies and the subtle tanginess grows more pronounced.
California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe
Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt
Simply mix Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of ground turmeric, a few grinds of black pepper, and a splash of maple syrup.
Alternatively, melt a small pat of butter in a little pan, then add about 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric and cook to release the bright intense flavors of the spice. Then blend the turmeric butter into the yogurt along with black pepper and maple syrup.
In addition to its complementary flavor combination, black pepper is said to enhance turmeric’s healthful properties. Yogurt adds another layer of flavor and texture to the salad. Try a beet dipped in yogurt, the hint of maple highlights the sweetness of the beet.
Roast cleaned medium-sized red and golden beets on a sheet pan in a 400°F oven until tender (45 -60 minutes depending on size). Let cool. Rub off the skins, trim into bite-sized pieces. Place in separate bowls and season with a very small splash of olive oil and raspberry vinegar, salt and pepper.
- 1 T. beet juice
- 1 T. raspberry vinegar
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1/2 t. dijon mustard
- very small garlic clove, minced
- pinch of dried oregano
- pinch of dried mint
- sugar, salt, and pepper to taste
Place ingredients in a small jar and shake until combined.
Pair with California Pinot Noir
Beets and goat cheese have a particular affinity for Pinot Noir.
To Compose the Salad
- turmeric-black pepper-maple yogurt
- beet vinaigrette
- red beets
- golden beets
- toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- arugula flowers
- humboldt fog goat cheese, sliced
Smear turmeric yogurt along one side of a shallow bowl. Toss arugula with vinaigrette. Mound arugula and beets in the center. Sprinkle hazelnuts over the salad. Place a slice of Humboldt Fog goat cheese off to one side. Garnish with arugula flowers.
This California Salad was inspired by one we just adored over the holiday…at Restaurant 555 East in Long Beach, CALIFORNIA.