This recipe, Beetroot Walnut and Pumpkin seed salad with whipped feta from Jane Lovett, makes the most perfect starter. It is simple to make and is a favourite of my friends i.e. they all asked for the recipe. I have also made it as a light supper and served it with some toasted Pitta bread.
Ingredients: serves 6-8
- 600g raw beetroot (I cheated and used ready-cooked beetroot)
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 100g walnut pieces roughly chopped, toasted
- 50g pumpkin seeds toasted
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
- 200g Feta cheese
- 100g cream cheese
- Serving suggestions – rocket leaves; mint, dill, or parsley, leaves chopped
How to prepare:
Preheat the oven to 190℃. Cut any leaves from the beetroot leaving 2.5cm of stalks attached and the root in tact. Wash well, place (unpeeled) onto a large sheet of tin foil. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap up loosely, forming a large airy tent. Put onto a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. The skins will slip off easily when cooked. |When cool enough to handle slide off the skins, wearing gloves to prevent stained hands.
Process the beetroot into matchsticks using the julienne blade of a food processor, a mandolin, coarse processor grating disc, box grater, or, cut by hand, and put into a large bowl. Alternatively, dice if you prefer.
For the whipped Feta process the Feta and cream cheeses together with 1 tsp olive oil until smooth. Set aside. (Bring back to room temperature if made in advance and refrigerated.)
Reserving a few of each for decoration, add the cumin seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and spring onion. Season well, add a glug of olive oil and gently mix together.
Arrange on a platter or in a pretty, shallow bowl and scatter with the reserved ingredients. Spoon small blobs of whipped Feta over the top, serving the rest separately; alternatively serve it all separately. Swirl with olive oil and scatter with rocket leaves or herbs, if using.
Prepare to end of whipping the cheeses up to 3 days in advance. Also the nuts and seeds can be toasted up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container.
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