Beets are plentiful now and creating new ways to enjoy them is always a challenge--especially if people think they don't like beets.   I bought some fava beans recently and made them into a puree to go with beets.  When Barry Tubb (actor and director) and his girlfriend came to dinner  I prepared this beet dish as a light start to the main meal.  Everyone loved this entree even Eloise who doesn't usually like beets.  It's always a huge compliment when people enjoy something I've prepared that they don't ordinarily like.  That to me is the best.


6 medium beets boiled, peeled, and sliced

1 cup of fava beans, blanched and peeled

3 tbsp of sour cream

2 oz drunken goat cheese

2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup basil leaves, without stems

Salt and pepper


1/2 fennel,  shaved paper thin

1 cup spinach leaves,  julienned

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 meyer lemon,  juiced

Salt and pepper

Place fava beans, basil leaves, goat cheese, and parmesan cheese into a food processor and puree for 30 seconds.  Add the sour cream.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside.  To assemble the beet napoleon,  add a teaspoon of fava bean mixture on top of 3 slices of beet.  Stack the slices and top with a fourth slice of beet. 

For the salad, place spinach and fennel in a bowl and dress with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Place the napoleon on the plate and arrange the salad next to it.  It makes a colorful and striking spring salad.