This week’s Recipe comes courtesy of Spanish chef José Pizarro, Brindisa‘s former executive chef and author of Seasonal Spanish Food, who is shortly launching his first solo venture José:
Goats Cheese with Beetroot Salad
This is an unlikely combination of ingredients, but it works really well and looks pretty too. I use Monte Enebro cheese but any semi-cured log-shaped goat’s cheese that’s soft with a bit of a rind makes a good substitute. Just make sure you choose one that keeps its shape when it’s cut up into cubes.
I find a mandoline useful for this recipe as I like the beetroot and onion sliced whole to produce lovely purple and magenta circles.”
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Moscatel white wine vinegar
8 raw small beetroots
½ red onion, peeled and left whole
250g semi-cured goat’s cheese, cubed
4 mint sprigs, leaves stripped and torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Break the walnut kernels into pieces (not too small), and spread them on a baking tray.Place in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes – the nuts will start to turn a darker colour and smell toasty. Remove and let them cool. Remove any debris such as skin and small bits of nut.
Whisk the oil and vinegar together, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the walnuts and set to one side.
Next, cook the beetroot. You can either bake in the oven, or boil them. I find the latter is less hassle: simply put them into cold unsalted water, bring to the boil and simmer for around 25 minutes. The vegetables should still have a bit of crunch in the middle. Drain, rinse in cold water, and leave to cool. Peel and slice the whole beetroots into circles roughly 0.5cm thick and season. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the onion as thinly as possible.
Place the beetroot layers on four plates and then the cheese and onion. Drizzle the walnut vinaigrette over, season, sprinkle the mint leaves on top and serve immediately.
Hope you enjoy it!