When I was in New Zealand for work we stopped into a little cafe for lunch. The name of the town escapes me but I think it was near Alexandra in the South Island. I ordered a salad that has to be one of the nicest I've ever eaten. It was a warm salad of rocket, beetroot, feta and hazelnuts. Since I have never roasted beetroot I thought I'd give it a go and whipped up a salad for lunch today. Mine was slightly different and used goats cheese and walnuts which I caramelised. I could have easily eaten the walnuts on their own, they were yum! This salad is perfect for winter if you're after something with a little substance. Serves 2.
Roasted beetroot and caramelised walnut salad
• 1 large handful each of baby spinach and rocket
• 2 medium-sized beetroot, washed and scrubbed
• 4 cherry truss tomatoes, cut into quarters
• 1/2 cup goats cheese
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar sifted
• Olive oil for shallow frying
• Pinch ground cayenne pepper
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
• Salt and pepper to taste
Beetroot - Preheat oven to 200˚. Place the whole beetroot on individual foil sheets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap with foil, place on baking tray and bake for 1 hour 10mins or until a fork is easily inserted into the beetroot.
Caramelised walnuts - Cook walnuts in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and transfer to paper towels and pat dry. Place walnuts and icing sugar in a bowl and toss until coated. Heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat and shallow fry walnuts until golden brown - about 2 mins. Drain on paper towel and let cool. When cool season to taste and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.
Salad - Mix together the baby spinach, rocket, truss tomatoes and walnuts. Crumble the goats cheese with your fingers and gently toss to combine.
To finish, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Cut the roasted beetroot into quarters and add to mixed salad and combine with dressing.