A new take on an old classic
Geitost teams up with golden beets and watercress in this original spring salad from Outside Oslo
As a Norwegian-American once removed from Lillestrøm, my kitchen tends to incorporate Norwegian ingredients in both traditional and unconventional ways. Throughout the year, I bake lefser, sandbakkelsser, krumkaker, and other Scandinavian treats with my grandma and mom, and there’s always a jar of lingonberry preserves in my fridge waiting to be spooned onto vaffler or pannekaker. But just as often, I find myself thinking about how to incorporate Norwegian flavors such as dill, salmon, cardamom, cinnamon, and cheese into my cooking repertoire in fresh, new ways.
Take this golden beet and geitost (brown goat cheese) salad for example. Stacked in layers with sliced golden beets, creamy brown geitost shines in an entirely new way, with its sweet-savory flavor mingling with the earthy taste of the beets. Set atop a bed of peppery watercress that’s been tamed with sweet white balsamic vinegar, the results illustrate how unexpected ingredients can work together to create exciting new flavor combinations.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love eating geitost on vaffler or on a slice of hearty bread. But as culinary inspiration strikes and I think of new ways to use Norwegian flavors I run with them. Sometimes a recipe like this emerges, one that helps bridge the gap between my favorite Norwegian ingredients and my friends who are still acquiring a taste for them.
How do you use Norwegian ingredients in your own cooking? Drop me a note—I’d love to hear from you! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe—it’s a perfect way to brighten up the often-dreary, rainy days of early spring.
Geitost and Golden Beet Stacks on Watercress Salad
Geitost og gulbeter på brønnkarse salat
4 small golden beets of similar size and shape
16 thin slices of geitost
1 bunch of watercress
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Steam beets until tender. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and trim the bottom, creating a flat base. Refrigerate until complete cooled.
Meanwhile, cut geitost into circles similar in diameter as the beets. This can be easily done using a clean lid of a milk carton or olive oil as a cutter.
When ready to serve, slice the beets into fifths, and layer with the slices of geitost. Set aside while preparing the salad.
Trim the watercress and wash and dry the leaves and thin stems. Make the dressing by vigorously stirring together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper with a fork until emulsified. Toss the watercress with the dressing and arrange on a platter. Make beds for the beets and place them on the platter.
Daytona Strong is the voice of Outside Oslo, a blog exploring her Norwegian heritage and love of great food. Check out her blog here.
This article originally appeared in the Mar. 15, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.