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Beet and Chevre Salad: 2nd Recipe from the Kalapa Court

Column: Dispatches from the Kalapa Court Kitchen
This salad of fresh greens featuring red and golden beets and topped with chevre and walnuts is brought to you by Machen Meta Maertens, who says this about her recipe and herself:

“I have cooked since I can remember. As a child, I liked to decorate mud pies with flowers and present them to my playmates. As I got older, my aunt showed me how to cook and bake real food, and I was hooked. Living in Hamburg, Germany, I work in Public Relations. While still a fairly fresh Shambhala Training student, I was asked to cook for the Sakyong when he visited Hamburg in 1991. Later, I began cooking at Dechen Choling and at the Kalapa Court in Cologne. Over the years, cooking has taught me the enjoyment of being in the moment and making people happy. I chose to share this salad recipe with you because Rinpoche and Khandro-la both like salad and goats cheese. It´s simple, but colorful.”

Beet and Chevre Salad

ingredients for four people:

various lettuce leaves (a handful per person)
one large red beet (and golden, if available), or a couple smaller ones
200g (7 oz) Chevre (fresh goat cheese)
100g (a few) walnuts

for vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make balsamic vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and mustard. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Cook whole beets al dente (if using two colors, cook them separately). Plunge beets from boiling water into a bowl of cold (ideally running) water. After a few minutes, take them out: the outer layer should slide off easily. Then cut the beets into small cubes and marinate in the Vinaigrette (marinate each color beet separately), for at least 3 hours. The beet cubes should ‘swim’ in the Vinaigrette, as this will become the dressing for the salad.

3. Form the chevre into small balls (3 per person), and chill for at least an hour.

4. Wash lettuce, dry well, and gently pull into bite-sized pieces.

5. Chop walnuts, but not too small. The shape should be recognizable.

6. Arrange lettuce on a white plate. Combine the two colors of beets at this point, if using them. Place beet cubes with dressing, atop the lettuce. Arrange three chevre cheese balls on each plate. Decorate with walnuts.

Guten Appetit!

The Sakyong is keen to begin to explore the questions, “what is enlightened cooking and dining?” and, “what is the approach to cooking and dining within Shambhala culture?” Members of the Machen Corps – from those venerable individuals who cooked for the Vidyadhara and the Regent, all the way up to folks who have just recently become involved in the court kitchen – explore these questions with every meal, with every cup of tea or coffee served, with every dinner party planned, prepped, and executed.

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1 response to “ Beet and Chevre Salad: 2nd Recipe from the Kalapa Court ”
  1. Anyana Banerjee
    Sep 22, 2011

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I love salad and goat cheese too and I am looking forward to preparing this for the Shambhala Lineage dinners this weekend!

    Kiki Soso!

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