Recipe: Spring Into the Kitchen With CJ Jacobson’s Beets and Berries

The Girasol chef shares his seasonal salad

We never really had a winter, yet here we are at the doorstep of spring. The new season begins this week and many of our favorite foodstuffs are sprouting with it. Chef CJ Jacobson grew up eating and cooking California’s tasty bounty, and his grasp of the farm-to-table ethos is on full display at his Studio City restaurant, Girasol. There he features rustic eats like warm sunchokes with medjool dates and shaved brussels sprouts with quince and blue cheese. With spring finally upon us, it’s a perfect time to try the chef’s berries and beets salad. Fresh herbs, baby beets, goat cheese, and tart berries sound like just the thing to welcome the warmer weather and longer days. Too busy with spring cleaning to make it to Girasol? We’ve scored the recipe for you.

Beets and Berries by Chef CJ Jacobson


  • 1 cup of goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of cream
  • 4-6 baby beets
  • 1 tablespoon of hazelnuts (roasted)
  • 3 blueberries
  • 2 raspberries
  • 1 fig (halved)
  • 1 strawberry (halved or quartered)
  • 1 blackberry
  • An assortment of herb leaves: chervil, parsley, tarragon, shiso, minutina
  • New Zealand spinach.
  • Lemon, olive oil, salt to taste


  1. Wisk together the cream and goat cheese until smooth. Season with salt and reserve.
  2. Place the beets in a pot and cover with water. Add enough salt so the water tastes salty like the sea. Cook the beets at a bubbling simmer for about 20 minutes or until the beets are cooked. Test them by using a small knife. The knife should slide easily through the beet with not much effort.
  3. Chill the beets down in ice water and remove the skins. Slice the beets in half and reserve.   
To Plate:
  1. Smear some of the goat cheese on a plate and place the beets on top.
  2. Sprinkle the hazelnuts around the beets.
  3. Add the berries and arrange the herbs on top.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Season with a pinch of salt.