This simple but labor-intensive recipe makes a good household or family project.  The beets get infused with citrus flavors and combined with creamy chevre.  It’s a gorgeous appetizer but also makes a nice lunch if served with a side-salad and some bread.  Most recipes have you cut the beets in identical shapes with a cookie cutter, but I just make the Napoleons different sizes depending on the size of the Beet slices.

Even if you don’t want to make the Napoleons, you should try preparing the beets this way, as they are quite different and delicious.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Trim the leaves off 1-2 Leeks, then cut the shanks in half lengthwise and rinse well. Slice into thin julienne strips. Toss with 2 T. olive oil and salt, then roast in a cast-iron skillet or pyrex dish, stirring once or twice, until crispy.

Peel 1 lb. of Beets and then cut into 1/4″ rounds. (There will be some pieces that are too small to use for the Napoleons) In a 12″ skillet, cook the beet slices in batches in 1 C. meyer lemon juice or a mixture of lemon juice and rice vinegar, for a minute on each side. Transfer to a plate.

Bring 3/4 C. fresh-squeezed orange juice to a boil in a small pot, then simmer until it reduces to 1/3 C. Refrigerate to cool, then combine with 1 T. balsamic vinegar and 1 t. fresh thyme or majoram. Whisk in 6 T. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Chop half the cooked leeks roughly, then combine with 9 oz. of softened goat cheese (chevre) plus salt and pepper to taste.

To make the Napoleons, stack equal-sized beet slices alternating with a layer of goat cheese, pressing down after each beet slice until you have 5 slices. Drizzle with the vinagrette and then sprinkle with the rest of the leeks.