Beetroot Salad with Whipped Goat’s Cheese

 

If you can get hold of a striped candy beetroot, it transforms this salad from a nice-looking dish to a stunning one. The combination of the cooked and raw beetroots provides texture and crunch, and maximises both the sweet and earthy flavours of the beets. A mandolin makes light work of the slicing, but if you don’t have one, use a very sharp chef’s knife and slice the beetroot as finely as you can.

Serves 2

Ingredients

40g hazelnuts

1 raw candy beetroot

4 cooked beetroots (about 250g in total)

½ bag (60g) shop-bought beetroot salad mixture

For the dressing

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp beetroot juice (optional)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the whipped cheese

100g soft goat’s cheese

50g cream cheese

Zest of ½ lemon

2 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1–2 tsp water



Preparation

1Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 4.

2Spread the hazelnuts over a small baking tray and place in the oven for 5–8 minutes, or until they turn a dark golden brown.

3Meanwhile, put all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk well.

4Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the candy beetroot very finely, then use a round pastry cutter (about 6.5cm in diameter) to stamp a circle from each slice. Place the circles in the dressing to pickle lightly.

5Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and leave to cool.

6Place the whipped cheese ingredients in a food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, adding a little more water to loosen if necessary. Place in the fridge until needed.

7Quarter the cooked beetroots and put them into a bowl with the salad mixture. Add half the dressing, season and mix well, then divide between two plates. Lift the slices of candy beetroot from the dressing and place on the salad. Dot with spoonfuls of the whipped goat’s cheese and spoon over the remaining dressing.

8Using the flat side of your knife, crush the hazelnuts on a chopping board so they are lightly broken up. Sprinkle some over each plate to serve.

Time-saving tip

There’s no need to peel the beetroot if you use a cookie cutter to stamp circles out of the slices. Apart from saving time, you get uniform shapes that look really smart and professional. This technique also works for sliced apples, potatoes and other root veg.


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