Recipe: Beetroot and goat’s cheese salad

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

Have you discovered the earthy charm and the delicious, distinctive flavour of fresh beetroot?

These little beets are at their best in August, and as they are bursting with nutrients, high in fibre and low in fat, they should be on everyones shopping list.

Many cyclists will know that drinking beetroot juice after exercise is believed to reduce muscle soreness and help your muscles recover.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of fresh beetroot (about 4-5 beets)

150g mixed salad leaves

40g walnuts

4 x 100g slices goat’s cheese log

Vinaigrette dressing

1tsp Dijon mustard

1½ tbsp white wine vinegar

5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

To serve:

4 slices walnut bread

Olive oil

A small handful of chives

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Trim and wash the beets under running water and dry with a paper towel. Lightly oil a large piece of foil and place on a baking tray. Place the beets in the middle and scrunch the edges of the foil together to make a loose tent, place in the oven and cook for about an hour or until tender.

2. Allow to cool, then peel off the skin and quarter.

3. To make the dressing whisk together the Dijon mustard, wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Pre heat the grill, place the slices of goat’s cheese log on lightly-oiled tin foil and grill until browned and starting to melt.

At the same time drizzle the walnut bread with olive oil, and grill on both sides.

5. Place a disc of goat’s cheese log on top of each piece of grilled bread.

Arrange the salad leaves, beetroot and walnuts on plates. Place the toasted bread and warm goat’s cheese log on top of the salad leaves, dress with the vinaigrette and snipped chives.

Cooks tip: To make candied walnuts: preheat a non stick pan over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey and a small pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the syrup is caramelized and the nuts are toasted, for about 3 minutes. Turn onto baking parchment to cool. Try using a good quality balsamic vinegar instead of vinaigrette.