Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad

  • Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: medium

‘…perfect for a dinner part when you need a clever little dish to woo your guests.’

Pete
'This dish is so fresh and natural! An unusual combo that's taken the world by storm. It''s moresome and delicious...'

What you need

4 large beetroots

2 sprigs of thyme

200g mild goat cheese – no rind

50ml single cream

100g walnuts

1 bag of mixed leaves

2 tbs chopped parsley

2 tbs chopped chives

Olive oil

Walnut oil

Red and white wine vinegar – ideally Cabernet Sauvingnon (or vinegar/lemon juice)

 



Dad's Recipe Tales

Every home cook must have a signature beetroot and goat cheese dish.

It’s a popular combo and a familiar starter on many restaurant menus. I keep coming back to this as a starter for dinner parties. It has colour, it is mildly exotic with its use of goat cheese, it is not too filling or meaty. The flavours are pronounced and stimulate the appetite.

I should have my own signature version – but I keep making one based on Jason Atherton’s recipe in ‘Gourmet food for a fiver’. He has a few cheffy processes I like: he extracts flavour and makes a deep intense beetroot sauce, he adds sweetness, (which makes sense for an inherently sweet ‘beet’ – but also offsets the mineral, earthiness some find difficult with beetroot), and finally he uses very mild goat cheese – rather like a loose creamy fondant. Not too much goat taste and easy freshness to offset the richness of the other elements.

How Dad Cooked It

  1. Wash the beetroots – but do not trim them. I always roast my beets – it helps bring out the natural sweetness of root. Place in a baking tray on a large sheet of tin foil and splash over some olive oil, water, salt pepper and the thyme. Wrap up the foil to form a loose sealed bag and bake for one hour at 180C/Gas 4. Check if they are cooked by inserting a knife. It should not resist when the beets are tender. Leave to cool.
  2. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel and trim and put the trimmings and peel in a pan, along with any liquor from cooking. Chop one quarter of one of the beetroots and add to the pan. Chop or slice the beetroots and put into a bowl. Cover the beetroot trimmings, peel and quarter in the pan with water and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the trimmings, reserve the liquid returning this to pan. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Simmer and reduce till it is a thick syrup. Taste and season, and add to the beetroot.
  4. Put the cheese in a bowl and mash with a fork, add the cream and stir or whisk until smooth. The consistency should be smooth with enough stiffness to hold its shape.
  5. Make a dressing by combining 2 tablespoons walnut oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Add the walnuts and fresh herbs and mix.
  6. Arrange the beetroot on plates and drizzle over a little of the glaze. Add a handful of leaves. Dot the plate with small teaspoon-sized amounts of goat cheese, and finish with the walnut dressing.

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