For the polenta
Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add a pinch of salt. Slowly stir in 1 cup polenta (yellow corn grits). Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently, until a spoon will stand up in the polenta, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer polenta to an oiled pan, loaf or round; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into desired serving size pieces (4 triangles from a 8-9″ round). SautÃ©e in olive oil over medium-high heat on both sides. Season with salt and pepper while sautÃ©ing, add herbs if desired.
For the roasted beets
Wash and trim 8-12 baby beets to 1/2-1″. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme if desired. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tender. Let cool. Finish trimming, peel, and slice the beets.
Assemble the salade
Toss mixed greens, herbs (parsley, basil, fennel tops), and a thinly-sliced fennel bulb in balsalmic vinaigrette. Gently incorporate the roasted, sliced beets.
Serve with the pan-seared polenta, additional balsalmic vinaigrette, and top with chÃ¨vre.
Wine pairing: A dry rosÃ© pairs perfectly with the range of flavors in this dish, cutting the richness of the chÃ¨vre and the earthiness of the beets. Cheers!