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      RECIPE TITLE "Roasted Beet Napoleon"
    recipe excerpted from Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More Copyright © 2004 by Wolfgang Puck

    ...for more great Wolfgang Puck' recipes go to our GREAT CHEFS page

    yields Serves: 2time---difficultyeasy

    This stacked salad has become a standard at Spago. Rounds of brilliant red beets layered with slices of white goat cheese make up one of the most striking and elegant appetizers we serve. The earthy beets and pungent cheese ask for just a drizzle of House Dressing and a sprinkling of toasted nuts. Add some greens for more color, or serve it without. Easy to make, this is the appetizer for impressing your friends.
    Try to purchase beets that are all about the same size. To save time, roast and chill the beets beforehand.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    1 1/2 pounds large yellow or red bets, washed and trimmed
    1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 recipe Herbed Goat Cheese (see page 26), cut into eight round slices
    1 to 1 1/2 cups mixed baby lettuces, washed and dried
    1/2 cup Spago House Dressing (see page 18)
    1/4 cup Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette (see page 50)
    1 ounce toasted hazelnuts (see page 10), coarsely chopped

      RECIPE METHOD

    1. Roast beets: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the beets in a small roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to reach about one quarter of the way up the sides of the beets. Cover the pan with foil, and roast the beets until they are tender, 2 hours to
    2 hours and 15 minutes. To check for doneness, gently insert a bamboo skewer into a beet. The skewer should slide through easily. Remove the beets from the pan, allow to cool, and then peel.
    2. Cut each beet into 1/4-inch-thick round slices. Cut each slice with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. (You will need ten rounds.) Cut trimmings into 1/4-inch dice and reserve 1/2 cup for garnish.
    *Rice wine vinegar isavailable at Asian markets and gourmet specialty stores.
    3. In a saute pan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil. Lower to a simmer and poach beets one minute on each side. With a slotted spatula, remove and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
    4. When ready to assemble, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan. Arrange the slices of Herbed Goat Cheese in the pan and warm slightly, turning them with a small spatula just to warm both sides. This has to be done quickly or the cheese will melt.
    5. To assemble the napoleons: Place one of the beet rounds on a firm, flat surface and begin to layer. Top with a slice of goat cheese, then another beet round, a second slice of cheese, another beet round, a third slice of cheese and a beet round. (Continue until you have five layers of beets and four layers of cheese.) Carefully cut through layers, dividing into three wedges. Repeat with the remaining beets and cheese.
    6. To serve: Arrange three of the wedges, pointed ends facing out, in a circle in the center of each plate. Toss the baby lettuces with the Spago House Dressing and mound half of the lettuces on top of each arranged napoleon. Drizzle one half of the Citrus Hazelnut Vinaigrette around each mound. Sprinkle toasted nuts and reserved diced beets on top of drizzled vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
    TO PREPARE AHEAD: Through step 3, up to one day ahead.



    HOT! We recommend:

    book Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More Since the 1982 opening of his L.A. restaurant Spago, Wolfgang Puck has become a household name. Several restaurants, TV appearances, and cookbooks later, Puck has put together Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More, a collection of his favorite and most popular recipes. "Eating with family and friends is like having a little party," says Puck. "It is pure pleasure, a relaxing and fun experience. Casual and easy to prepare, these are dishes everyone can make and enjoy."
    Puck starts with the basics--stocks, sauces, dressings, and condiments. With chicken or vegetable stock fresh made or stored in your freezer, you have the base for Hazelnut Brown Butter and Herb Sauce (toss with wild-mushroom ravioli and dust with Parmesan) or Tomato Garlic Basil Sauce (good for pasta or pizza). The salads range from a classic Caesar with Homemade Tapenade Croutons to a Grilled Ahi Tuna Niçoise Salad to a colorful stacked Roasted Beet Napoleon. Thin-crust wood-oven pizzas are Puck's signature and he does not disappoint. The Herbed Artichoke Pizza is studded with sautéed artichoke bottoms, niçoise olives, and caramelized onions and the Tangy Chicken Pizza features peppers, eggplant, and chicken marinated in olive oil, lime, jalapeños, garlic, and cilantro. Try the brunch pizza with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a leisurely Sunday.
    The pastas are equally as enticing. Puck suggests making your own and includes his fail-safe recipe. Particularly temping are Angel Hair with Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Crispy Calamari with Chinese Noodles and Spicy Garlic Sauce, and Gnocchi with Braised Veal Shank.
    Besides alluring photos of many of the dishes, pictures of Puck and his staff preparing for the 2000 Academy Awards post-party are included (FYI: Haley Joel Osment's favorite pizza is Pepperoni and Mushroom). --Dana Van Nest
    Click here to buy
    bookWolfgang Puck Makes It Easy: Delicious Recipes for Your Home Kitchen 
    He is creator of some of the world's greatest restaurants such as Spago and Postrio. He is known for the fast-growing Wolfgang Puck Express, a line of cooking accessories, television appearances on the Food Network, and a line of soups and pizzas. He is author of five previous cookbooks. Wolfgang Puck is one of the most visible names and faces in the food business.
    Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy is a groundbreaking cookbook in which Wolfgang Puck shares his creativity and genius so that anyone can prepare these wonderful recipes. Every element of the book aims to make it incredibly easy to create great food of the highest quality and creativity, as only Wolfgang Puck can do.
    In addition to more than 100 recipes, the book features numerous cooking tips as well as advice on how to select the freshest ingredients, how to adapt recipes to the season, using the right cookware, and menu and wine selections.
    Click here to buy
    bookLive, Love, Eat!: The Best of Wolfgang Puck
    Wolfgang Puck's enthusiasm for good food could light up several small cities, and you'll find the proof on the pages of Live, Love, Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck. In 150 of his favorite recipes Wolfgang Puck demonstrates why and how flavorful food and fun can't be separated from each other--certainly not in his kitchen.
    Consider the ubiquitous guacamole recipe. Puck calls his version California Guacamole. His ingredients are few, the flavors marshaling around roasted whole garlic, which adds to the whole an underlying sweet and mellow deliciousness. It's an act of elevation and restoration for one of the grand treats of the Southwest. Puck is a master of the respectful tweaking of familiar recipes and ingredients in favor of rejuvenation and flavor. The lowly chicken comes to mind. Chicken pot pie becomes Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Puck replacing the traditional crust with delicate dumplings. With Spicy Chicken Pizza (the chicken is marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and minced jalapeño chilies) Puck takes this Neapolitan standard on a side trip to Mexico. Viener Backhendl, Austrian fried chicken, meets Asia by way of panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs. And so on.
    Live, Love, Eat! has chapters devoted to appetizers, soups, salads, pizza and pasta, seafood, poultry, meat, accompaniments, and desserts. This is a richly illustrated book showing what results look like and how they get there. A final chapter, "Basics," is worth the price of admission. --Schuyler Ingle
    Click to buy

     

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