My friends and I had a blast catering a party in Chelsea last week. We were told to expect a hungry crowd and the biggest hit was the pizza with wild mushrooms and fontina cheese (thanks, Martha). Other offerings included Moroccan-style skewered beef, crispy chorizo bites, homemade red pepper hummus, and beet asparagus, and goat cheese salad in whole wheat crouton cups (recipe below).
Asparagus, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad
1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
2 large beets, leaves removed with roots and tips intact
4 ounces goat cheese
Preheat oven to 450°
1. Arrange asparagus in one layer on a baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast, shaking occasionally, until asparagus are slightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Meanwhile place the beets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring pot to a boil and cook beets until fork tender, 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.
3. Drain beets and let cool. Peel beets and cut into a ½ inch dice. Set aside.
4. Slice asparagus thinly, leaving the tips intact. Place asparagus in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
5. Transfer to 4 serving plates and top with the diced beets, a drizzle of olive oil and a crumble of the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
** Note: To make asparagus prep easier, hold both ends of each spear and bend gently. The asparagus spear will naturally snap where it is rough and fibrous leaving only the tender part for you to roast.
Also, leaving the beet roots and tips intact before boiling reduces the loss of nutrients in the water.