This really isn’t a recipe just a way of putting some great ingredients together.
Roasting the beetroot takes longer but intensifies the flavour and when married with goats cheese the earthy tones and sweetness shine through.
The un-recipe’s inception starts mid Spring when I sow beetroot seeds, either direct or in a tray of potting compost, I transplant the seedings after they have grown their first two true leaves. Give them a good watering in, and pretty much leave them to their own devices.
I grow a variety of types – from Choggia with its pink and white concentric circles, Burpees Golden, Bulls Blood and Bolardy. All for colour on my plate. And come early summer they make a pretty edging plant with their deep red or green upright stems and leaves.
You can pick them as adolescent young when they aren’t much bigger than a golf ball – lightly steam them and eat them with a light vinaigrette, or pop them into a salad.
Or you can pick them when the fill out into middle age and are tennis ball sized and the leaves are still bright and glossy. Cut the stems off about an inch or so from the top but don’t trim the roots, wash the soil off and wrap the beetroot in tin foil and bake them for an hour or two on a low to medium oven until they are soft.
You unwrap your treasure and gently peel the skin off – it’s very fine and comes away easily. Cut it into 1/3 or 1/2 inch slices. Take it easy beetroot juice stains everything in sight!
While the oven is still hot, slice the goats cheese into rounds and place it on an oven proof plate and pop them in the oven for a couple of minutes – just enough to warm through, to soften it, but not too much so that it is a melted cheesy goo.
As the goats cheese is warming through, place a slice of beetroot on top of a piece of lightly toasted bread – maybe a baguette or perhaps (and if you are clever) some of your home-made rolls.
You can eat your un-recipe with a knife and fork or maybe if no one is looking just pop it into your mouth.
Perfect for a starter, a light lunch, or just because you have picked some fresh beetroot that morning.
Don’t discard the stems and leaves – wash and chop them, steam them and serve them with a pat of butter some salt and pepper as a side dish, stir fry with ginger and garlic, add them to an omlette, mix them into a dal towards the end of cooking or maybe even make a Sag and Beetroot Bahji