(serves 4 as a starter)
4 medium beetroots, preferably 2 red and 2 yellow, scrubbed, trimmed, roots intact
1 red onion, halved and roughly diced
1 Tarocco blood orange (or one orange will do), peel and pith removed and segments chopped coarsely
180g goats cheese
A handful of winter purslane
For the vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon nut oil (walnut or hazelnut)
2 talespoons red wine vingear
1 unwaxed lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/ gas 4
2. Drop the beetroots into a heavy casserole and pour in enough water to come about 1.5cm up the sides. Sprinkle the beets liberally with salt. Cover and roast in the oven for about 1-1½ hours- check after 1 hour, if a knife can be pushed into the beets without too much effort they are done.
3. Remove from the casserole, drain and leave to cool, then cut off the roots and neaten the tops. Peel and cut into 1cm cubes.
4. For the vinaigrette, combine the oils in a small jug. Pour the vinegar into a small bowl, with a squeeze of lemon juice, and add salt and black pepper. Stir to dissolve the salt and taste, adding more salt as you like.
5. Start to add the oil mix a little at a time, beating with a small whisk or fork. Pause from time to time and taste- stop when its just right.
6. Mix the beetroots and onions gently in a serving bowl or on individual plates, then scatter the orange piece and goat’s cheese over the top. Place some of the purslane on the salad and pour over as much of the vinaigrette as you like and enjoy.