Feeling like a homage to the last days of summer, when in actual fact this recipe can be resurrected at any point from July to March when beetroot is available, this is the amuse bouche recipe from my fruit and veg supper club in July at 68andBoston in Soho.
It’s a really simple recipe, but the presentation is obviously the key to that wow factor. It’s not a complicated manoeuvre though. You peel the beetroots and then continue peeling round the middle of the beetroot, rather than top to bottom, trying to keep the peel in one piece for as long as possible, then pop the peel in cold water to get them to curl.
This dish was inspired by chef Jesse Dunford Wood’s raw ravioli, where he uses slices of root veg as ‘pasta’ and sandwiches them together with goat’s cheese. It’s one of his signature dishes at The Parlour and he describes it as a posh goat’s cheese salad made pretty to attract girls, so I decided to go one step further and turn it into a bouquet.
Serves 4 as a starter; 8 as an amuse bouche
- 1 small turnip
- 1 candy beetroot
- 1 golden beetroot
- 1 beetroot
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 tsp caster sugar
- 100g rinded goat’s cheese
- 100ml extra thick cream
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- A few golden fennel/fennel fronds or dill
- Sea salt and black pepper
Peel the turnip, then peel around the vegetable in one strip (or as many as it takes) and place in a bowl of cold water. Do this with the candy, golden and red beetroots as well, separately to each other and in separate bowls. Make sure you peel the red beetroot last so you don’t stain the other vegetables.
In the meantime, in a small bowl, whip together the goat’s cheese, cream and lemon zest and juice, until thick, and then season with pepper.
Drain the bowls of root vegetables and add 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/4 tsp sugar, as well as a pinch of salt, to each. Stir individually.
Take four plates (or however many you are serving) and with a teaspoon scoop a spoonful of the cheese mixture in three or four places on each plate. Leaving the red beetroot until last, tighten the curls of your strips and position them in the cheese mould to secure them. Add the fennel around the now buds, as if leaves. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.