Beetroot tartare, goats cheese and hazelnut praline

Dinner Party Starter

As we approach Christmas you might be looking for a perfect dinner party starter.  And now you have found it. This raw beetroot salad is really healthy, looks gorgeous and you can make it in advance. Bingo! The goats cheese ‘snow’ has an element of wow factor that you could even do it at the table in front of your guests! See below recipe for what I mean. 

Credit to Rory O’Connell for the inspo – I saw him demonstrate it at the Saveur Kilkenny festival and I was sold. Do let me know if you make it too!

Salad Ingredients: 300gr whole raw beetroot, 150g soft goats cheese (1/2 frozen)

Praline: 50 g hazelnuts, 30 g sugar

Dressing: 6 tbsp olive oil , 2  tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper

Finish – with a drizzle of honey and mint leaves(optional)

First, take half the goats cheese block and place in the freezer – this is going to be your goats cheese ‘snow’ shaved on just before serving. The other half can be placed in the fridge.

Next prepare the praline Put some baking parchment down on a flat tray. Now make the hazelnut praline by adding your sugar and hazelnuts to a small pan and put on a low -medium heat letting it turn to a deep caramel colour. Keep a close eye because the sugar can burn quickly.  Remember, do not touch – it is molten! Once you have reached the caramel colour carefully pour out onto your parchment paper and allow to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop and store the praline in an airtight container. (These will keep for several days!)

Finally prep the beetroot and dressing Top and tail it and peel with a wide vegetable peeler. Then grate it with a box grater (or pop it into the food processor.)  Whisk the oil, juice and salt and pepper. Dress the salad and keep refridgerated until you are almost ready to serve. This can be made a few hours in advance. 

To serve, crumble up the goats cheese from the fridge and mix into the salad, along with 1/2 the praline. Take a microplane and shave the frozen half across the serving plate. Scatter the remaining praline, drizzle on a teaspoon of honey and serve with thinly sliced toasted sourdough or crusty bread. 

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