Sadly the darker evenings have already kicked in and as such my photography is suffering. Again. But I love this recipe so much I had to share it anyway. I will make it again at a weekend during daylight and take proper pictures (I’m trying not to think of the amount of times I have said this and failed miserably to follow through).
I have made many versions of goats’ cheese with beetroot over the years but this time I thought I’d put a bit more effort in. This Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese with Apple Fritters salad has two types of beetroot in it and the apple fritters give it a pleasant contrasting texture and sweetness. The puree is really delicious. I resisted the urge to smear it across the plate with a brush but now I’m sorry I didn’t as it would at least have shown off the gorgeous pink colour of the beetroot.
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I think this is a really nice take on what is already a classic flavour combination.
Useful tips & links:
- I used raw beetroot and wrapped it in foil, roasted it in the oven at 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4 for about 1.5 hours. It is cooked when it can be easily pierced with a knife. Feel free to use precooked vacuum packed beetroot but never use the pickled jarred stuff for salads like this.
- Instead of making the puree, you could just use some Beetroot Relish on the side.
- Goats’ cheese can be whipped with honey or apple syrup into a lighter mousse-like texture like this Whipped Ricotta.
- If you don’t want to make the apple fritters, toast or make some candied walnuts to add crunch to the dish.
- Have a look at Sheila’s Coriander Dressed Beetroot with Honeyed Goats’ Cheese and Walnuts.
Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese with Apple Fritters
- 4 beetroot, roasted, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons of apple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 120g of soft mild goats’ cheese
For the fritters
- 1 medium potato, approx 250g
- 1 green apple – Golden Delicious or Granny Smith work well
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of self raising flour
- Salt and pepper
- Sunflower oil
- Lambs lettuce or other greens to garnish, fresh thyme leaves, extra apple syrup
- Start this dish with the fritters as the potato and apple need time to draw the water out of them. Peel the apple and potato and grate both into a clean tea towel. Sprinkle over some of the salt as this will help draw out the liquid. Wrap them up in the towel and then leave to one side.
- In a bowl mix together the egg, flour and spring onions.
- Next, heat a small non stick frying pan over a low to medium heat. Put half of the beetroot, syrup and vinegar into the pan. Stir occasionally and allow them to heat gently together. You are just looking to warm the beetroot through and glaze it in the syrup. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Put the remaining beetroot, syrup and vinegar into a small food processor and blitz until it is a smooth puree. You will need to scrape the sides of the processor down with a spatula a couple of times while doing this. Loosen the puree with some olive oil if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper and add more syrup if you would like it to taste a bit sweeter.
- Push the puree through a fine mesh sieve which will give it a smoother texture.
- Back to the fritters, give the potato and apple a good squeeze through the tea towel to get rid of the excess water. Mix them into the eggs and flour mixture, season with a little more salt and some pepper and mix thoroughly to get a thick batter.
- Heat a layer of oil in a pan over a medium heat and spoon in some of the batter mixture. You don’t want it too hot or the fritters will burn before the inside is cooked, instead you just want to hear a gentle sizzle when you drop in the mixture. You can make one large or several small fritters per person.
- When the fritters are golden brown underneath turn them to cook the other side. When cooked through remove from the heat and drain them on some kitchen paper. You can keep them warm in a low oven if you want to make a large amount or cook them in advance.
- The goat’s cheese can be served as is or crumbled on top, however if you want to heat it, season it with some salt and pepper, top with a few fresh thyme leaves and drizzle over some olive oil. You can bake it in a low oven or heat gently under a medium grill.
- When everything is ready, place some of the warm beetroot wedges on to a plate, then add leaves, some dots of the puree and put the fritter in the middle. Top with the goats’ cheese and drizzle over some more of the apple syrup. Serve immediately.