A now old dependable recipe of mine used many times, my roots beet buds recipe got another well-deserved outing at my first in the series of a monthly seasonal supper club on 10th June at Brown and Green, Crystal Palace.
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.
At the Brown and Green supper club I just used beetroot, but as you can see, you can really mix the colours up and use mooli, golden beetroot and/or candied beetroot.
Serves 4 as a starter; 8 as an amuse bouche
- 100g mooli
- 1 candy beetroot
- 1 golden beetroot
- 1 beetroot
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 100g rinded goat’s cheese or vegan soft cheese
- 100ml extra thick cream
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- A few golden fennel/fennel fronds or dill
- 2 tbsp blossom honey or agave nectar
- 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. If you are making the vegan version, use the vegan soft cheese and don’t add the cream.
Drain the bowls of root vegetables and add 1 tbsp of vinegar, 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, drizzle with honey or agave nectar and serve. (Image below photography by Nicki Dowey.)