Mille-fueilles have been though to have originated in France with the famed gateaux dre mille-feuille or 1000 layered cake. It has traditionally been used as a term associated with desserts. Here is is used to represent a beautiful vegetable salad of beets in different colors layered with a delicious cheese filling.
The first time I made this salad, I was amazed by the wonderful flavors. This salad is a spectacular show piece on the table, most folks love the showy presentation. The earthy sweet beets are balanced beautifully with the creamy cheese filling and scented with the nutty hazelnut oil. The mix of baby greens add a contrast of color, crunchiness and green flavors to the salad. This is a salad I could keep enjoying, but I make it for only those special occasions when I have a formal dinner.
This is one of those cookbooks that hides in my library, and occasionally I spot it and cook from it. Every recipe is spectacular, the easy and healthy French cuisine that is designed to amaze you. The recipes range from savory tarts to salads to desserts, each one is beautiful to present and delicious.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
For the mille-feuille:
1/4 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh soft goat's cheese
2 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, plus to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons hazelnut oil
Sea salt, to taste
6 beets of different colors, red, purple, yellow, or candy cane chioggia beets
Mixed baby greens, spinach, arugula or lettuces
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2 shallots, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Sea salt, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 F.
To cook the beets, wash the beets throughly. Wrap them separated by color with a drizzle of olive oil and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Remove one of the packages and open gently taking care not to let the escaping steam burn you. Pierce the lergest beet with a wooden skewer or a fork, the beets should be soft all the way through, however, you do not want them mushy.If needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. The skins should slip off easily, keep as much of the thin roots as possible.
Alternatively, you can boil the beets, separated by color till cooked.
Cut the beets horizontally into 3 pieces, a base where the leaves attach, the middle and the tops with the roots. Trim the bases where the roots attach to form a stable base.
In a bowl mix the ricotta, goat's cheese, scallions, sherry vinegar, hazelnut oil, salt (careful, the cheeses are salty) and pepper. Taste and adjust salt and tartness with vinegar till you have a lovely tasting mix.
Layer the beet bases on a dish. Divide the cheese spread to 12 portions and add one to each beet. layer a beet of a different color on tip. Add the second scoop of cheese. Top with the beet roots. Cover with cling wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
While the beets are chilling, mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside for the flavors to come together.
To serve, take out the beets from the fridge and add the baby greens around and between the beets. Drizzle the greens and assembled beets with the vinaigrette and finish by sprinkling the hazelnuts over the salad. Serve immediately.