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Beetroot salad with goat cheese and walnuts

This is another great combination: beetroot, goat cheese and walnuts.
I love beetroot: it’s so refreshing, tasteful and healthy. It also creates a great colour to the dish.
This salad definitely belongs to the “impress for less” recipes: inexpensive, easy to make and, last but not least, one of my staples in this period (you know, post-Xmas diet, needless to say).
This is a relaxed version of one of Jason Atherton dishes: he was the Executive Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred Maze in London. A couple of years ago I got his “Gourmet food for a fiver”, a book where he mixes his creative style and original flavour combinations to create gourmet meals within a budget.
Well, it’s a lovely way to save time, calories and money. Why not? :- )

Beetroot salad with goat cheese and walnuts
(Serves 4)

3 red beetroot, washed
1 plain goat cheese log (150gr)
40 ml milk
40 gr baby chard leaves (or mixed baby green)
extra virgin olive oil

walnut dressing:
100gr walnuts, chopped
15gr parsley, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
150 ml extra-virgin olive oil 

40ml thin honey
50ml red wine vinegar
65ml extra-virgin olive oil

  • My adjustments: according to my taste I reduced the amount of vinegar and olive oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Trim the tops and root from the beetroot and put into a saucepan. Cut off and chop a quarter of one beetroot and add to the pan.
  • Loosely wrap all the rest of the beetroot in foil, sprinkle with a little salt and bake until tender (1-11/2 hours). Unwrap and leave to cool. If you want to save time use pre-cooked beetroot.
  • In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the milk using a fork. Cover and refrigerate.
  • For the walnut dressing: toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until light golden and starting to give off a nutty aroma. Tip into a bowl and add the herbs, garlic, vinegar and olive oil.  Stir to combine and season with salt to taste.
  • Peel the cooled beetroot and set aside (add the skin to the other trimmings).
  • To make the glaze: pour 200-300 ml water over the beetroot trimmings to cover them. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the trimmings, and return to the pan.
  • Whisk in the honey, vinegar, olive oil and some salt. Simmer until reduced to syrup glaze (6-8 minutes).
  • Cut the beetroot into wedges. Toss in to the pan and gently move them around with a spoon to coat with the glaze and heat through (3-5 minutes).
  • Place a ring of beetroot wedges on each plate and drizzle with the glaze, dollop the goat cheese in and spoon on the walnut dressing.
  • Arrange the salad leaves decoratively and a little of olive oil and sea salt.

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