Today we are making a simple but effective starter. Not just that it is healthy, but looks really good and tastes delicious.Beetroot is very healthy and should be part of every diet. It is so easy to prepare and one can do a lot in advance, so for a dinner party everything is ready and just before serving you add the hazelnut dressing
4 medium size beetroot, washed and tailed
2 bunches asparagus, wooden part cut off
4 red shallot, peeled and sliced
½ cup hazelnuts
4 cups rocket, washed
1 cup / 250 grams semi aged goats cheese, crumbled
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil or hazelnut oil Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oregano leaves, picked
Rub the beetroot with Olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Put them on a tray and roast them at 160 C till they are nice and soft, cool down and peel. This way the flavor of the beetroot will be intensified and that makes this dish marvelous
When they are cool peel them using disposable gloves and cut them in four and reserve. When the beetroot are cooking bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and plunge the asparagus in it. Cook until just tender, making sure you do not overcook them. Scoop them out with a kitchen spider and cool them under cold running water, reserve. Blanch the rocket for one minute in the same water. Drain and cool under cold running water and shake dry. In a frying pan heated to medium heat, add the hazelnuts and toast for 5 minutes. Put into a mortar and crush slightly with the pestle. Set aside. Put the beetroot on a small platter, scatter the asparagus on top, followed by the rocket, crumbled goats cheese, sliced shallot and the crushed hazelnut. In a small bowl mix the red wine vinegar and the oil and season, drizzle all over the salad and serve at the table.
This recipe is originally from Serge Dansereau of the Bather's Pavilion in Sydney. For me one of the best spots to go and have a great meal either lunch or dinner. I will have some more of his recipes, most of them will be slightly altered to my taste. Nowadays there is nothing new anymore, everybody just re invents and that is what I do with most of my recipes. I like something and I do something very similar.