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The second in my series of simple summer salads, a delicious plate of young beetroot with a delicate tasting goat’s cheese crumbled over the top.  For dishes with so few ingredients it’s essential to choose high quality produce with fantastic flavour.

These smallish beetroot are around in my local grocers and farm shops, and are about the size of plums.  The goat’s cheese I used, and would recommend if you can get hold of it is called Picandou and is from the Périgord region of France.  It is a fresh soft goat’s cheese with a smooth creamy texture.  I bought mine from the Barbakan in Manchester.

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I have made this salad twice in the past couple of weeks.  The first time, when the photos were taken, I accompanied the beetroot and goat’s cheese with some roasted Cheshire new potatoes (I parboiled these first, and tossed them in olive oil and a little salt and pepper before roasting) and some salad leaves – this served as our evening meal.  The second time, when my parents visited me for the day, I served the beetroot and goat’s cheese on it’s own, with only a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of marjoram leaves from the garden – this accompanied a smoked trout and dill tart that I’d made (more on that another day).

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So the recipe is as follows…

Beetroot and goat’s cheese salad

Serves 4 as part of a meal

approx. 8 medium beetroot (use two per person)
3-4 small Picandou goat’s cheese (or if using other goat’s cheese, about a tablespoon per person)
extra virgin olive oil
marjoram or thyme leaves (or whatever you fancy from the garden)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Remove the tops from the beetroot – leave about an inch of stalk and don’t cut of the rooty ‘tail’ – otherwise the beetroot will bleed.  Scrub well in water. 

Take a roasting dish, fill it with about 5mm water then place the beetroot into the dish.  Cover with foil and pop in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender.  (Don’t be tempted to remove the foil…I did the first time and the beetroot dried out and didn’t look very pretty!)

This dish is best at room temperature, so let the beetroot cool.  Once cooled, remove the stalky bit and the ‘tail’ – you can also remove the skin if you want, but this is messy and if you’ve scrubbed them well I don’t see any issue with eating it.  Cut the beetroot into quarters, or more if the beetroot is larger.

Arrange the beetroot on a nice platter, and crumble the goat’s cheese over the top.  Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, a little black pepper and some marjoram leaves to finish it off.

*Also great served with rosted new potatoes and some green leaves*

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