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Thursday 17 April 2014

Salad of Beetroot with Toasted Walnuts and Goat's Cheese

The combination of flavours in this dish is really very good. Once you have all of the preparatory work done, it is easy to build this salad and be as imaginative as you like with the presentation. Serves 4.

YOU WILL NEED

4 large beetroot

6oz/175g walnuts

7oz/200g soft goat's cheese

1 large bunch fresh rocket or baby lettuce leaves

A couple of spoons of mustard-seed dressing (see below)

METHOD

Bring a pan of unsalted water to the boil.

Drop in the beetroot (unpeeled) and allow the water to come back to the boil.

Simmer for approx 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre meets with little or no resistance. Allow to cool and then peel. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the cooked beetroot into very thin round slices.

Heat a large pan until smoking hot and then scatter the walnut halves on to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 4-5 minutes until they are completely toasted.

Allow to cool and then roughly crush two thirds of the toasted walnuts with a pestle and mortar or food processor.

Meanwhile, peel the skin off the cheese and mash gently with a fork. Mould teaspoonfuls of the cheese mixture into small balls and roll in the toasted walnuts and store in the fridge until required.

Mustard-Seed Dressing

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon of honey

Juice of ½ lemon

Seasoning

½ teaspoon chopped thyme

6fl oz/175ml rapeseed oil

To make the dressing, mix the mustard, honey, lemon juice, and seasoning together. Whisk in the chopped thyme and then slowly whisk in the oil and allow the dressing to rest until required. Neatly arrange the sliced beetroot on to each serving platter.

In a separate bowl, dress the salad leaves with some of the mustard-seed dressing and place on top of the beetroot. Divide the coated pieces of goat's cheese between each platter and finally scatter the remaining walnuts between each plate.

If time is scarce, you can buy precooked whole beetroot in the supermarket.

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