NCR - Salad of Watercress, Beetroot, and Goats Cheese
For this month's No Croutons Required I asked you to look at restaurant menus, find a soup or salad that is suitable for vegetarians and makes you think "Mmmmmmm!" and then come up with your own recipe for it. You could look at menus online, in restaurants or just recall a dish you enjoyed.
For my entry I went straight to my favourite vegetarian restaurant, which is David Bann's in Edinburgh. I would like you to remember I have a demanding new baby, so when I say went, I meant virtually. I headed straight for their website and I was easily able to choose a salad I loved, to recreate. It is a very simple salad, with good earthy flavours.
Salad of Watercress, Beetroot, and Goats Cheese
½ bag watercress, washed and dabbed dry
4 beetroot, roasted, peeled and sliced
½ cup cashew nuts
Goat's Cheese Toasts
4 slices of crusty bread (I used a white bloomers bread)
olive oil to brush onto the toasted bread
1 clove garlic
4 slices goats cheese
1 tsp pesto
1 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Wash your beetroot, to remove any of the garden that is still clinging to it. Trim down the beetroot, so that there is a little stalk and root left on before wrapping each beetroot in tinfoil. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven (180c/350f/gas 4) for 1 hour. Allow the beetroot to cool in it's foil for 10 minutes or so before peeling the beetroot and slicing. If you want a quick alternative, there is no reason not to use the ready cooked beetroot available in vacuum packs in any supermarket, although the roasting does bring a lovely flavour.
Scatter a handful of watercress on each plate. Top with slices of beetroot and scatter some cashew nuts across the salad.
Brush the slices of bread with olive oil before toasting lightly. Rub a cut clove of garlic across the surface of each toast, top with a slice of goat's cheese and return to grill, until the cheese is warm, soft and golden. Place a toast on each salad.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and season, then drizzle across the toasts and salads. Serve while the toasts are still warm.
This makes a great starter and even though it is very simple, the flavours really stand out.
56-58 St. Marys Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SX
0131 556 5888
You still have time to enter.
Just list the name of the restaurant, location and a url (if they have a website), along with a sentence or two talking about the restaurant or your choice of dish, then add your photo, a link to your post and your own location and email it all to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day on the 20th of February 2010, although I won't be posting until Sunday evening, so if you are running late and the post isn't up, then please do send it. We are running on baby-time here.