Your weekend lunch sorted – this baby beetroot salad is colourful and delicious
Baby beetroots are much sweeter than their larger counterparts so do seek them out, if you can. The warm crispy goat’s cheese cakes benefit from freezing before pan-frying, otherwise they start to melt too quickly.
Roasted baby beetroot with warm goat’s cheese cakes
SERVES 4/PREP 15 MINUTES, PLUS FREEZING/COOK 30 MINUTES
12 raw red or yellow baby beetroots (beets) or 4 medium beetroots, well scrubbed, halved or quartered depending on size
4 tbsp olive oil
125g/4 ½ oz/2 cups dry sourdough or panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 small goat’s cheese crottins, about 3cm/1 ¼ in thick
4 handfuls of rocket (arugula) leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Put the beetroots on a large piece of foil, drizzle with half of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
Close the foil parcel, place on a baking (cookie) sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Open the foil parcel and cook for another 10 minutes or until the beetroots are tender.
Meanwhile, place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another bowl. Dip the cheese rounds into the beaten egg, then roll them in the breadcrumbs until coated. Chill in the freezer for at least 20 minutes until firmed up.
To make the balsamic dressing, put all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well, then set aside.
When the beetroot is cooked, arrange on individual serving plates and top with the rocket.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the goat’s cheese cakes for about 1 minute on each side or until golden. By the time you finish cooking the second side, the cheese will be melting.
Place a cheese cake on each plate, drizzle the dressing over and serve immediately.
Tip: If you can’t find thin goat’s cheese crottins then buy 2 thick ones and cut in half crossways.
The beetroot tastes best prepared on the day of serving, but it could be roasted the day before.
The goat’s cheese cakes and dressing can be prepared the day before and stored separately in the refrigerator.
The featured recipe is from The Well-Dressed Salad: Fresh, delicious and satisfying recipes by Jennifer Joyce.