There are dozens or reasons to become a regular at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa, California. There’s a festive bar scene, outstanding pastas (with GF variations), and this elegant roasted beet salad with a melange of fantastic additions, which we regularly order without fail since it’s always on the menu. Whip up this colorful and extremely flavorful combination and bring one of Napa Valley’s tastiest dining classics to your table.
Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
One of the most elegant, easy salads ever, this one from Napa Valley's famed Bistro Don Giovanni, is amazing as an appetizer or main course. Omit the cheese and it's dairy-free, too!
- 1-1/2 pounds medium to large beets evenly sized (red, golden, chiogga, or all three), washed and dried
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces Roquefort cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 pound haricots verts or green beans cleaned, trimmed, and blanched until just tender
- 1/4 head radicchio cut into fine julienne (optional)
- 1 ripe but firm avocado cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 bunch chives minced fine
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roast the beets: In a large bowl, toss the beats with the white balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the beets and the vinegar-oil mixture in a rimmed baking dish for pan and roast until tender when pierced with a toothpick or skewer, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let the beets cool slightly; peel and dice them while they’re still warm.
Sprinkle the beet with the sugar, salt to taste, and the remaining tablespoon of balsamic. Let cool, then chop into 3/4-inch cubes.
Make the Roquefort vinaigrette: place half the Roquefort and the champagne vinegar in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup olive oil until emulsified.
Assemble the salad: Place the beets, fennel, haricots verbs, and radicchio in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper., Add half o fat vinaigrette and toss gently. Add more dressing if it’s too dry.
Scoop the salad onto four plates or a serving platter. Top with the avocado and remaining Roquefort. Sprinkle with chives and serve.