Bibb Salad With Local Beets & Goat Cheese

Ingredients1 pound local beets

3 heads Bibb lettuce, cleaned and separated

1 pound crumbled goat cheese at room temperature

3 tablespoons basil puree from tube (see cook's note)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon waterDirectionsCook's note: Tubes of basil puree are available in the produce section of some grocery stores, such as Publix.

Leaving an inch on the top, trim the greens off the beets. Do not cut the root end off. (This will prevent the beets from bleeding while they cook.) Wash them well. Put the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and boil until tender. Immerse in a bowl of ice and water to immediately stop the cooking. Drain, peel and dice in 1/4-inch cubes.

Lay the lettuce out on serving platter in a flower-like pattern.

Fold together the beets and the goat cheese. Spoon onto the middle of the lettuce.

Whisk together the basil puree, olive oil, vinegar and water. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad. Serve immediately.

Chef Robert Carter of Carter's Kitchen has appeared on the Food Network and “Martha Stewart Living” and been featured in numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Esquire, Bon Appetit and The New York Times.