Beetroot, goat’s cheese and nectarine salad with spiced vinaigrette recipe

Beetroot and goat’s cheese is a combination that just works. This takes it a step further by contrasting the textures of raw and cooked beetroot and adding a gently spiced vinaigrette and sweet nectarine.

beetroot and goats cheese
Nassima Rothacker

SERVES 4

4 purple beetroot, unpeeled and trimmed
1 candy-striped beetroot, peeled and trimmed
150g soft goat’s cheese
100g Greek yogurt
Grated zest of 1⁄2 lemon
1 ripe nectarine, sliced
50g toasted pecans, chopped
Small handful of tarragon leaves

SPICED VINAIGRETTE
1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
1⁄2 tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 shallot, sliced
1 garlic clove, halved
3 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
11⁄2 tbsp red wine vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Rinse the purple beetroot and, with the water still clinging to them, place each on a separate sheet of kitchen foil. Loosely scrunch the foil up around each beetroot and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes until tender and a knife slips in easily. Cool a little, then unwrap and peel by rubbing off the skin with your fingers, wearing gloves to avoid staining.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, tip the spices into a cold, small saucepan with the shallot, garlic and oil. Set over a low heat and warm gently, slowly infusing the oil. After 6-8 minutes the onion and garlic should be golden and the mixture fragrant. Cool, then drain the oil through a sieve into a mixing bowl (discard the aromatics or stir through rice or boiled potatoes, discarding the cardamom). Add the vinegar and season. Cut the cooked beetroot into wedges and toss them in the vinaigrette.
  3. Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to cut the raw candy-striped beetroot into very thin slices.
  4. Mix the goat’s cheese in a bowl with the yogurt and lemon zest. Season and spread over the base of a serving plate. Lift the purple beetroot from the vinaigrette and arrange over the cheese, along with the sliced nectarine and candy-striped beetroot. Scatter over the pecans and tarragon and drizzle over any remaining vinaigrette to serve.

TIP You can buy ready-cooked purple beetroot to save time.

Now buy the book

CaliforniaOur recipes are from California: Living & Eating by Eleanor Maidment, published by Hardie Grant, price £22. To order a copy for £18.70 until 22 August, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.