Salad of Chevre, Beetroot, Green Beans and Baby Rocket with Lemon Dressing

Serves 4

This beautifully coloured salad is easy to put together. You can serve either on its own as an entrée or with some crusty bread for a light lunch. Don’t be afraid of cooking fresh beetroot. Once you have tasted beetroot that has been boiled, steamed or roasted you will never go back to the canned version.

Ingredients

600 g fresh beetroot

For the crumbed goat’s cheese:

200 g Panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs

75 g unsalted butter cut into 1 cm cubes

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of white pepper

150 g chevre (soft goat’s curd)

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil for shallow frying

100 g green beans

2 truss tomatoes

200 g rocket, washed, picked

1/2 red onion, finely sliced

3 tablespoons Bitton Lemon Dressing or French vinaigrette

Sea salt and white pepper, to season

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To prepare the beetroot, cut the tops off the beetroot, leaving at least 2 cm. Scrub the skin, pat dry with paper towels. Wrap each beetroot in foil and place on a baking tray. Cook for 1½ hours until the beetroot is soft. Unwrap the beetroot and peel when cool enough to handle. Cut the beetroot into wedges, set aside.

For the crumbed goat’s cheese, spread the breadcrumbs on a flat tray and place the cubes of butter evenly on the top of the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and white pepper. Place in the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted (about 8 minutes). Remove and cool. Slice the goat’s cheese into 2 cm thick rounds. Coat the cheese with the breadcrumbs. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, add the grapeseed oil, heat until the surface shimmers slightly. To test if it is hot enough, place a cube of bread in the pan. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

In batches, add the crumbed goat’s cheese and fry on each side until golden brown (about 2 minutes each side). Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside. Drop the beans in boiling water until bright green and just tender.

Drain, refresh under cold water. Cut the beans into 4 cm pieces. In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomato, rocket, onion and beetroot. Add the Bitton Lemon Dressing or French vinaigrette, season to taste. Mix well to evenly coat the salad ingredients with the dressing.

To serve, divide the salad among 4 flat bowls or plates. Place the crumbed goat’s cheese on top and serve.