Lightly Pickled Summer Beetroots

Head chef Richard Buckley of Demuths has a passion for bringing vegetables to the centre of the plate: “I believe that local, seasonal produce should be at the heart of all our food, nothing is more satisfying than taking a beautiful vegetable straight from the field, treating it with respect and serving it to people you care about.”

Demuths Restaurant in Bath has been one of the country’s top vegetarian restaurants for over 20 years and continues to redefine what it means to cook and eat vegetables in our times. They strive to make healthier, tastier, more creative food using the world-class produce grown in the fields around Bath.

Demuths
2 North Parade Passage,
Bath BA1 1NX01225 446059
www.demuths.co.uk


People always think of beetroot as a winter vegetable but it’s actually at its best in the summer; it’s got a lighter, fresher flavour and goes really well with summer berries and fresh bitter leaves. This recipe combines a lovely light way of cooking beetroot with beautiful blackcurrants and a light homemade cheese. Rennet may sound exotic but you can buy it in most good supermarkets and health food stores. This isn’t a recipe to rush and you’ll need to start a day ahead, but it’s well worth the effort.

INGREDIENTS
Pickled Beetroots:

  • 5 fresh beetroots
  • 2 small onions
  • 20g fresh thyme
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 100g cider vinegar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g salt
  • 3 cloves

METHOD
Put all the ingredients together into a pan and add water to cover the beets. Cover with a cartoush and simmer gently for an hour or until the beetroots are soft.

Leave the beets to cool in the liquid and then remove them and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid into a pan and reduce it to a thin syrup. Rub the skins from the beetroots and cut into attractive wedge shapes

Fresh Cheese:

  • 400g whole organic milk
  • 200g double cream
  • 5g veg rennet

METHOD
Put the milk and cream into a pan and heat gently. Mix the rennet with a little water and stir into the milk. Set aside for 2 hours.

TO SERVE

  • 1 handful of Blackcurrants
  • Some fresh bitter leaves such as rocket, watercress or land cress
  • A slice of fresh sourdough bread

Take as many cut beetroots as you can eat and put into a small pan. Pour a bit of the reduced poaching stock over them. Heat gently until the liquid reduces a little and then put it all together onto a plate.

Gently scoop a bit of the set cheese out of the pan and place it on the beets. Scatter blackcurrants and bitter leaves over the top and eat with a slice of bread.

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