Roast beetroot salad with whipped goats curd, bitter leaves and hazelnut dressing
They are a classic combination, beetroot and goat cheese, and one of my go-to favourites when entertaining guests at home. This recipe is quick and simple but delivers on flavour and texture. It can be a side dish or served as a great entree, perfect for an autumn dinner party.
For extra detail when plating as an entree, try making a beetroot puree. Simply roast an extra 500g of beets in the oven and then cook in 200ml simmering water, 400ml red wine and with a sprig of rosemary. Separate the beets from the cooking liquor once tender, then blitz and add some of the cooking liquid back into the puree to get the desired consistency.
Whipped goats curd: 450g of goats cheese (chevre) at room temperature; 10ml of thickened cream; zest of ½ an orange; 2 tps of finely chopped rosemary
Hazelnut dressing: 100ml red wine vinegar; 300ml hazelnut oil; 1x finely diced shallot; 200g roasted hazelnuts (slightly crushed). I like to use a saucepan to crush them.
Bitter leaves: 1 head of radicchio; 200g rocket; 1.5kg or 8 (medium) baby red beetroots for roasting
1. Preheat oven to 185 degrees celsius fan forced. Trim the stalks and root off flush to the beetroot then wash and place in a mixing bowl. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt then mix well to coat the beets.
2. Wrap each beetroot individually with foil, pressing firmly to create an airtight seal. Place beetroots into preheated oven on a trivet to prevent hot spots.
3. After 45 minutes check if the beets are cooked by piercing them with a skewer, it should effortlessly slide in and out. Leave to cool and rest in the foil.
4. Once cooled unwrap the foil and gently massage the beets with your hands to remove the skin (if you’re worried about staining your hands, wear disposable gloves). Cut the cooked and peeled beetroots into ¼ pieces and set aside.
Whipped goats curd
In a kitchen aid or food processor place the room temp goats cheese, cream, orange zest and rosemary and whip on a medium too high speed for 2 mins until well incorporated and smooth. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag or a container ready to be spooned out when serving.
Place the hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast while the beets are cooking, about 5 to 8 minutes until lightly golden. Combine the vinegar, oil and diced shallot in an empty glass jar and shake well, alternatively whisk in a bowl. Before serving, add the roasted nuts to the vinaigrette and shake well.
Discard the outer dark leaves of the radicchio, separate the inner leaves into single pieces. Wash and rinse in cold water and pat dry, tear any large leaves into more practical sized pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, place the beetroots, cover with half of the nutty dressing, mix well and lay the dressed beets on your serving bowl. Pipe or dollop the whipped curd over the dressed beets in the serving bowl. Add the leaves and a little more dressing, scatter over the beets and goats curd.