Sunday, 27 March 2011

Beetroot crisp and goat's cheese salad

            beetroot crisp and goats cheese salad

Ok, this combination is never going to win awards for pushing culinary boundaries but it does hit the yummy spot. I really, really love beetroot: sweet, earthy and oh so versatile.  From roasted on a Sunday to a winter's borsht to this crisp, light salad. It's wonderful stuff. I saw some in the local farmers shop on as I was walking home the other day and couldn't resist. Beetroot is normally in season from late June to early November so I don't know how they managed it but I wasn't going to complain.

One of my favourite beetroot dishes that I've experienced was an amuse bouche that I had the first time I went to a Michelin restaurant. The boyfriend was a sweetie and treated me to it for finishing my degree. It was early summer and it felt like we had so much ahead of us. It was a tiny chilled beetroot soup with horseradish cream and smoked eel. It did exactly what an amuse bouche should and made us so excited about what we were in store for that night. 

The goat's cheese I used is called Golden Cross. Its an ash rolled, bloom rinded log. It is made in southeast England and has a bit of a following apparently. When the goat's cheese is first made the texture is light and mousey, a few days later it can be crumbled and after a week it can be sliced. The "natural rind" or mould coating will take about a month to develop.

Although this salad is so simple sometimes these are the hardest dishes to get just right. This recipe works because the light, fresh, crispy beetroot contrasts beautifully with the velvety, tangy goats cheese. 

Beetroot crisp and goat's cheese salad - serves 2 

2 beetroot
1/4 log of goat's cheese
herby salad leaves

for the dressing -
one third lemon juice 
two thirds extra virgin olive oil

Peel the beetroot and thinly slice. Not too thinly as the texture of the crunch is all important. 
Put into a bowl and add the dressing.
Arrange on a plate with the sliced goat's cheese on top.
Add the salad leaves to the bowl and add more dressing.
Place this on top of the cheese and beets.


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