Culinary Corner |

Culinary Corner

Matt IndenWarm Pistachio Crusted Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese with Red Beets and Golden Raisins in Plum Wine Syrup from Terra Bistro in Vail.

Terra Bistro, located in the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa, provides a modern dining experience, combining stylish decor with a fresh upbeat atmosphere and a Creative American menu. Their seasonally inspired and environmentally conscious cuisine is centered on using organic ingredients, naturally raised or wild fish and meats, and the support of sustainable agriculture.

Executive Chef Kevin Nelson’s culinary career started on Long Island, where he grew up, and where he worked at several high volume, small-town and beach-resort restaurants. Nelson moved to Vail in 1991, and joined Terra Bistro in 1993. At Terra Bistro, Nelson discovered a passion for a healthier approach to quality cuisine.


1/4 cup crushed pistachio nuts

8 oz. log Colorado Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese – cut into four rounds

2 medium fresh red beets – tops removed

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 cup plum wine

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. agave nectar

Kosher salt to taste

Cover the unpeeled beets with cold water in a saucepot and add a teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beets are tender throughout – approximately 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the beets rest in the water until cool enough to handle. Once the beets can be held, peel and discard the skins.

Let the beets finish cooling in the refrigerator. After the beets are chilled, cut them in half from stem to base and then slice the halves thinly to form half circles.

For the plum wine syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the plum wine, raisins, cider vinegar and agave and simmer until the liquid is reduced by 25 percent. Remove from heat and let cool in the refrigerator for two hours. Season with salt to taste.

Roll the cheese rounds in the crushed pistachios until completely coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 – 12 minutes.

To serve: On a chilled plate, fan out the beet slices with a point of each slice in the very center of the plate and overlap the slices until you complete a full circle of beets on each plate. Spoon some raisins and syrup over the beet slices. Carefully place the warmed cheese rounds in the center of the beets.

Serves four


Goat Cheese:

Agave Nectar:

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