Beet, Avocado & Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

8-10 beets (red, yellow, purple)
1/3 shallot, peeled and sliced thin
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
6 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 egg
½ cup flour
½ cup bread crumbs (panko)
1 avocado
1/4 cup pistachios
Microgreens for garnish
Chives for garnish

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2) Wash and trim the beets and pat dry. Place the beets in foil, making packets of 3-4 beets per packet. Drizzle with some olive oil and kosher salt. Wrap the beets tightly and place on a baking sheet then bake for 40 minute to 1 hour or until tender. Remove beets from the oven, unwrap and set aside to cool.
3) Once cool, rub the skin of the beets off the cooked beet. (Using a paper towel sometimes makes this easier). Cut the beets into quarters or chunks and place in a bowl. Set aside.
4) Place the sliced shallot in a small food processor and chop finely. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp sugar and dice to combine until thickened and the shallots are minced fine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour ⅔ of the dressing over the beets to marinate until plating.
5) Chop avocado into chunks similar to beets.
6) Roll 6oz goat cheese into 1-inch balls. Gather three shallow bowls and place 1/2 cup flour in one bowl, whisk 1 egg in another bowl and place 1/2 cup bread crumbs in the remaining bowl. Dredge a goat cheese ball first in flour, then egg and then in the bread crumbs. Repeat flour, egg and bread crumb steps one more times. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the cheese balls.
7) Cook cheese balls in 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan (or deep fry in 2-3 cups canola oil) in batches of three or four at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
8) Plate the marinated beets with the avocado chunks and the fried cheese balls that have been sliced in half or kept whole. Drizzle with the remaining shallot dressing and a sprinkling of microgreens, 1/4 chopped pistachios and snipped chives. Season with additional salt and pepper.

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