2-3 medium beets
2 sprigs fresh thyme
12 ounces baby arugula, rinsed and dried
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely minced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh, coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecans
4 ounces fresh honeycomb
For the roasted beets: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap beets, orange, and thyme in aluminum foil, and roast 45-60 minutes or until tender when pierced with the tip of a pairing knife. Allow to cool.
Wearing gloves, peel the beets. Cut into chunks or slices and add to a bowl; season with sherry vinegar, coarse black pepper and salt to taste.
For the vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl combine mustard, vinegar, shallots, pepper and salt. In a thin steady stream, begin whisking the oil until emulsified.
To assemble: Add arugula, beets and pecans to a medium sized mixing bowl. Dress with the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Divide among four chilled salad plates. Crumble 2 ounces of goat cheese over each salad and top each with a few teaspoons of honeycomb and serve.
Chef John Pappadopolous, Sam & Harry's, Schaumburg