Beetroot, blue cheese and walnut salad recipe

You can vary this salad depending on the different beetroot and wild leaves available, but my favourite leaf both visually and for taste is pennywort, which luckily grows wild right on my doorstep. You can use only pickled walnuts if you like, but adding the toasted walnuts gives the salad crunch.

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes, plus cooling

SERVES

Four as part of a spread

INGREDIENTS

  • 400-500g mixed coloured beetroot (yellow, white, candy and red), depending on availability, trimmed
  • 2-3 medium-sized pickled walnuts, quartered, plus 1 tbsp vinegar from the jar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 150ml rapeseed oil
  • 16-20 good-quality walnuts, lightly toasted with a little sea salt and rapeseed oil
  • A handful of pennywort or other small leaves, washed and dried
  • 100-120g Isle of Wight Blue, or other blue cheese, broken or cut into small pieces

METHOD

  1. Cook the different colours of beetroot separately as they will take different amounts of time and it will avoid staining from the red beetroot. Boil them for approximately 30 minutes, until tender to the tip of a sharp knife. Once cooked, leave to cool and peel the skin by rubbing it off with your hands (preferably with a pair of gloves for the red beetroot). Cut the beetroot into a mixture of wedges and rough chunks and set aside separately.
  2. Heat the pickled-walnut juice in a pan to reduce it by half, then transfer to a bowl and whisk in the cider vinegar and rapeseed oil. Season to taste.
  3. To serve, arrange the beetroot on serving plates with the pickled and toasted walnuts and pennywort leaves. Season lightly, scatter over the cheese and spoon around the dressing.
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