Wash red and yellow beets and place into separate roasting pans. Drizzle with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Place a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, cover with foil, and roast at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour, depending on size. To test for doneness, they should easily be pierced with a paring knife or fork.
Cool beets, and peel with a kitchen towel, while warm. This will ensure that the peels come off easily.
Smoked Beet Puree:
For the smoked beets, take red beets that are cooked, cut into 1″ dice, and smoke over apple and hickory wood for approximately 20-30 minutes. Cool, and puree with a 50/50 blend of water and maple syrup (just enough to allow the beets to liquify and become smooth). Typically for 4 red beets, a quarter cup of each will suffice.
Take the rest of the beets and slice into 8 pieces each.
Pierce the smaller fruits, and halve those that are larger. Place in a heat safe container. Combine all ingredients, except fruit, and bring to a boil. Cool completely. Pour over fruit and let sit, refrigerated, for at least one day, or overnight.
Paw Paw Vinegar:
Add all ingredients to blender except oil. Emulsify oil until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Boil pecans in lightly salted water, for 2 minutes. Toss in the mixture of sugar and cayenne. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes at 350 degrees, or bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 225 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until dry.
To Build the Salad:
Toss 1 cup of red, 1 cup of yellow beets with paw paw vinaigrette, about 1/4 cup of baby arugula, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Schmear the plate with 3 tablespoons of smoked beet puree, and place dressed beets atop. Garnish with FireFly Farms Black & Blue goat’s milk cheese, a handful of candied pecans, and some sliced, pickled fruit.