A very simple recipe to put together but the combinations work wonderfully. By intensifying the flavour of the beetroot through roasting it and contrasting it with peppery rocket, salty cheese, crunchy walnuts and brought together with quality balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil we really elevate the humble beetroot to another level.
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours
Serves 2-3 people
INGREDIENTS 2 large beetroots 1 bunch of rucola 2 dried sheep’s milk gbejniet 40g walnuts, chopped Balsamic vinegar to taste Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepepr to taste EQUIPMENT Chopping board and knife Rubber spatula or wooden spoon Baking tray lined with baking paper Mixing bowl Aluminum foil
1. Begin by preheating an oven to 180C. Scrub the beetroots and chop off the stalk ends of each one. Lay down enough foil to cover a baking tray and lay a sheet of baking paper on top. Place the beetroot on the baking paper and season well with salt, pepper, olive oil and add a few sprigs of rosemary. Pull the foil over the beetroots to cover them. Bake at 180C for 1 and a half hours or until the beetroots can be easily pierces with a knife and are tender. Smaller beetroots will not take as long. Once the beetroots are cooked, carefully remove the skins with a piece of paper kitchen towel. And allow to cool. Once cooled cut into bitesized pieces.
2. To toast the walnuts, season them with a few drops of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt, coat well in the light coating of oil. Preheat an oven to 160C and place the walnuts onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the walnuts are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.
3. In a large mixing bowl place the beetroot pieces and season liberally with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
The simplicity of the dish means that the beetroots need to be seasoned really well, if they taste flat, the whole dish will taste flat. After 15 minutes taste a piece and make sure they are salty enough and have enough olive oil and balsamic to accentuate their earthy flavour. (On the other hand if your beetroots are swimming in seasoning, you’ve gone too far).
4. For the cheese, crumble or shave using a vegetable peeler into a small bowl and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.
5. Before you’re ready to assemble, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. The flavour of everything will be much more pronounced and have a nicer texture. Add the rocket leaves, half of the cheese crumbled or shaved into small pieces as well as half of the walnuts. Dress everything well and adjust seasoning as necessary. To serve, garnish with more of the chopped walnuts and gbejna.
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