Beetroot carpaccio salad

Impress your guests with this pretty summer salad, courtesy of the chef at The Red Lion Inn in Babcary. The humble beetroot is one of those superfoods with all sorts of health benefits, like helping to lower blood pressure, boost libido (ooh er missus) and improve brain function – just don’t wear white when you’re scoffing.

Utensils

A mandolin (the cutting blade, not the stringed instrument!) or very sharp knife, 4-6cm pastry cutters, blender, piping bag

First make some pickling liquor (it’s easy)

  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml vinegar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Put the ingredients into a pan, bring to the boil and when it’s cooled slightly, have a quick taste – it should be a balance of sweet and sour. The intensity of the vinegar will mellow out once cold. If it’s too sharp, add a touch more sugar.

For the salad

  • 2 large, raw beetroot
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 200g peas
  • 200g broad beans
  • 1tsp fresh mint
  • ½ tsp fresh marjoram
  • ½ tub goat’s curd or a mild, soft goat’s cheese.
  • olive oil
  • pea shoots to garnish

Method

Slice the large raw beetroot on the mandolin or slice thinly using a sharp knife; then cut out discs with the pastry cutters. Drop them into the cool pickling liquor and keep them there for at least an hour – even better overnight. It’ll keep for around four days.

Finely dice the shallot and sweat in olive oil, not allowing it to colour.

Pod the peas, pod and peel broad beans, blanch in salted water and re-fresh in iced water. Remove from water, pulse in blender or mash by hand. Add softened shallot, chop mint and marjoram, season to taste.

Place goat’s curd (or goat’s cheese) in a piping bag.

Lay out the beetroot discs on a dish. Pipe the curd/cheese onto the discs.

Scatter the pea and broad bean mix randomly. Garnish with pea shoots and drizzle with olive oil.

Enjoy.

 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset