Glazed Beet, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad Serves 4
Simple, earthy and beautiful, this dish can serve as an appetizer or as a main course when paired with roasted chicken, slices of crusty bread and a glass of hearty red zinfandel.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

2 pounds red or golden beets
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 bay leaves
5 whole peppercorns
2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
4 ounces chèvre (soft fresh goat cheese)
Chopped chives as a garnish

1. Clean beets and remove green tops. Cook in water over medium heat until soft (10 to 15 minutes, depending on beet size). Remove beets, reserving juices. Place beets in a bowl of cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off skins. Chop into 14-inch cubes; set aside.

2. Strain beet cooking juice through a fine mesh sieve. Return juice to pot and add onion, bay leaves and peppercorns. Over medium heat, simmer the juices until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat, taste and season with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Pour juice over beets. Add olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Arrange arugula on four salad plates or a large platter. Pile beets in the center; sprinkle with goat cheese. Garnish with chives.