Servings: Serves 6
To make balsamic vinegar syrup: Pour the whole bottle of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Lower heat to medium-high and continue to boil down the vinegar until it starts to thicken and forms a syrup-like consistency (approximately 15 to 20 minutes). Be careful not to thicken too much or you will end up with a thick, black goop!
Dip a wooden spoon into syrup. If the syrup coats the back of spoon, it is ready. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before you store in the refrigerator.
To make salad: Preheat oven to 400°.
In a small, dry fry pan, add the pinoli nuts and turn the heat to medium–high. Toast the nuts under the flame until they start to turn color (approximately 5 or 6 minutes). Shake the pan back and forth so you don't burn them. Set aside and let cool completely.
Trim off the top of the beets. Rinse the beets and dry with a paper towel. Place on baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the top and rub oil all over the beets with your hands. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Pierce with a sharp knife to make sure they are tender and the knife goes all the way through.
Remove from oven and let cool. Peel away any loose skin under cool running water. Place in the refrigerator and cool for at least an hour.
Cut the beets into 1/4-inch slices and place in bowl. Set aside.
Cut the goat cheese into pieces and roll into balls the size of a popcorn.
On a salad plate, place overlapping slices of beets to form a large flower. Top with arugula and place 4 to 5 pieces of the goat cheese at different places on the beets. Drizzle olive oil, kosher salt and cracked pepper. Drizzle balsamic syrup. Sprinkle on the toasted pinoli nuts.
Published on May 26, 2010