Beetroot, Apple + Goats Cheese Stack with Chestnut Pesto


It’s officially autumn. Summer is over. The sky is blue but the air is cold. And while I’d usually be shivering defiantly and braving the icy waters, clinging to those last few precious ocean swims, this year I’m in a good place. I’m ready for a cool change. I’m ready for crispy mornings and new cosy parkas and vegetable soup and hot buttered chestnuts and lazy rainy mornings in bed. I’m geared up for layers upon layers upon layers and porridge with honey and pots of tea. I’m keen as a bean for scarves and steamy showers and wearing socks to bed. And I’m going to celebrate it by ignoring all the essays about agnotology and political sovereignty that are due in the next few days and making pretty coloured lunches instead. If that salad was summer, then this salad is autumn – an idyllic mergence of all things earthy and sweet and nutty.

Apple Beetroot Stacks
(Serves Four)
Two whole beetroot, sliced into circles
Two green apples
450 grams of soft goats cheese
Two tablespoons of milk
A bunch of rocket for each plate
A third of a cup of toasted pumpkin seeds
A tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
A good quality balsamic vinegar

Chestnut and Spinach and Garden Herb Pesto
(adapted a little from here)
A packed cup of mixed herbs,
(mine consisted of mostly basil, with some thyme, mint, parsley and chives)
One clove of garlic, crushed
Sea salt and cracked pepper
A quarter cup of grated Parmesan
A quarter cup, or so, of extra virgin olive oil
The juice of half a lemon
A good handful of baby spinach
Three quarters of a cup of roasted chestnuts, peeled

Toss the beetroot circles with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 200 degree oven for twenty minutes to half an hour, or until all roasted and lovely. Slice the apple lengthways. Blend the goats cheese and milk with a spoon, until soft.  Stack the apple slices alternately with the roast beetroot slices. Between each layer spread some of the goats cheese mixture and some of the pesto mixture. Scatter with the pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the stacks with balsamic vinegar. Serve with lemon wedges.

Blend everything in a food processor. Season. Relish. Store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator covered in a little extra oil.

About these ads