Beetroot and ewes curd salad
PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 December 2015
Josh Eggleton is Chef Patron of multi award-winning pub The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna. Here he has created a menu especially for vegetarians.
250g ewes curd or goats cheese
100g parmesan, finely grated (omit if using goats cheese)
6 medium beetroots, assorted
1 Granny Smith or other green apple
8 wedges of pickled apples
2 baby gem lettuces
200g of bitter and peppery leaves, eg. watercress, rocket, endive etc, washed
100ml house dressing
200ml red wine vinegar
75g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1tsp coriander seeds
1. Wash the beetroot if necessary, reserve one ,then wrap the rest individually in tin foil with a pinch of sea salt and bake in a hot oven at 180°C until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Once cooked allow to cool and peel while still warm.
2. With the remaining raw beetroot, peel and slice 2mm thick on a mandoline, now cut 3cm squares out of the slice.
3. Put the vinegar, sugar, salt and coriander seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure the sugar is dissolved. Strain the vinegar through a sieve over the beetroot squares and set aside to cool.
4. Place the hazelnuts on a small roasting tray and put in the oven at 180°C for about 10 – 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them when slightly more than golden brown. Put the nuts in a food processor and lightly pulse until roughly broken. Alternatively, smash them up with a pestle and mortar – but keep the pieces quite big.
5. Take the ewes curd and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll each ball in the parmesan. If you are using goats cheese then cut into cubes and omit the parmesan. Place it all in the refrigerator to firm up – but make sure you take the balls out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving the salad. They are really delicious at room temperature.
6. Cut the stalk end off each baby gem and gently tear off the leaves, repeat the same process with the endive if using this, add the rocket and watercress. Put the mixed and baby gem leaves in a bowl, pour over half the dressing and gently mix until the leaves are coated.
7. Transfer the leaves to a serving dish. Cut the roast beetroot into wedges; put the beetroot in the first bowl. Cut the pickled apple wedges in half and add them too. Dress and mix them just like the leaves. Arrange the beetroot and pickled apples in and around the salad leaves. Core the fresh apple and cut it in half, and then cut into thin slices. Garnish the salad with the apple slices, curd balls and finally the hazelnuts.