Marinated beetroot with goats cheese and chard

Wow your dinner party guests with Jason Atherton's stylish starter
By Jason Atherton
Marinated beetroot with goats cheese and chard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

  • 3 large beetroot, peeled
  • 25 g butter
  • sprigs of thyme
  • 200 g soft goats' cheese

For the marinade

  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Chardonnay or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp thyme, leaves only

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • few knobs of butter
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine kernels, chopped

To serve

  • handfuls baby leaves red chard

Method

1. Thinly slice 2 large beetroot using a mandolin. Stack up a few large slices and use a 5cm round pastry cutter to stamp out little discs - you will need 36. Save the trimmings and set aside.

2. For the marinade: mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Add the beetroot slices, one at a time, to ensure that they are well coated. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill overnight.

3. Cut the remaining beetroot into tiny batons (or chop them into a fine dice), again saving the trimmings. Set aside.

4. Heat the butter in a pan and add the thyme. Season the beetroot batons and fry for a few minutes, tossing occasionally until they are tender. Drain off the excess butter and leave to cool on plate lined with kitchen paper. Chill until ready to serve.

5. Season the goats' cheese with salt and pepper and beat with fork until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle.

6. For the dressing: collect all the trimmings and put in a pan. Fill with water to cover and boil for 20 minutes.

7. Strain off the beetroot trimmings, discarding them and keeping the liquid. Return the vibrant beetroot juice to the pan and boil vigorously until reduced to a thick and syrupy consistency. Cool slightly then mix with the chardonnay vinegar and olive oil. Season.

8. Heat the butter in a pan and toss in the pine nuts. Toss for a few minutes until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper, leave to cool then roughly chop. Add to the beetroot dressing.

9. To serve: put 3 discs of marinated beetroot on each plate. Neatly pipe a tall mound of goats' cheese in the middle of each beetroot. Spoon a few beetroot batons on top of each mound then cover with another marinated beetroot slice. Spoon over the dressing and garnish with baby salad leaves.

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