You know what I like best about cooking? You don’t need a lot to put something delicious on the table. And the best: with a bit of creativity you can easily turn a simple dish into something impressive!
That certainly applies to this beetroot salad, a dish with very common ingredients that form a delicious classic combination; so actually an excellent dish for a weekday. But by adding a few extras and think about the styling of the plate all of a sudden this fairly simple salad became the perfect starter for my to gather #2 – farm to table dinner party!
Shall I just share a few of those creative “secrets” with you?
- Beetroots are delicious, but do you know the beautiful purple and white striped Chioggia beet, or yellow beetroot? Especially around the holidays they are generally readily available. Combined on one plate it looks beautiful and impressive without a lot of effort!
- Cut your ingredients for a salad like this in several ways: beets into thin slices, diced apple, radish cut into wedges. This helps you creating a nice layout
- Use a different plate than the ordinary round and white, and think about the plating in advance. A Carpaccio on a rectangular plate instead of a round one for example: surprise your guests!
- Colour is important to make an attractive plate: simple ingredients such as green herbs, sprouts or pink peppercorn (which is actually a berry) can really make a difference. Add these only at the very last moment, just before you serve. Also create some height in your dish: put a piece of meat on the vegetables e.g.
- Start plating in the centre of your plate and then work outward; in this way you stay organised and you’re able to visualise the final result
- Oil, sauces etc. are essential for a good dish: both for the taste and the look. A little oil immediately gives a nice shine to dishes. Use drops or lines for a pretty result and stay away from the edge of the plate. Of course, make sure that the taste of an oil or sauce matches the dish and add at the final stage just before serving
As mentioned, the basis of this beet salad is even perfect for a weekday. Would you like to give the dish a little wow factor, like I did? Add some edible flowers (for The Netherlands: these can be ordered online at Bloombites for example); make crumb of rye bread and roll little balls of readymade goat cheese slices that you cover with nut crumb, very finely chopped herbs or freeze-dried apple powder.
That apple powder sounds very complicated but I will share my secret: check your local store for “crispy crisps”: a 100% fruit snack in different flavours. Ideal as a snack (for adults as well ;-)) but also to use in your kitchen in a creative way. Costs almost nothing, great effect!
Beetroot alad with goat cheese, apple and radish
- 3 tbsp. good olive oil
- 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 raw beetroot, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, in tiny cubes
- 8 slices of soft goat cheese
- 8 radishes, cut into quarters
- 1 slice rye bread, crumbled
- 2 handfuls of hazelnuts, coarsely ground
- Pink peppercorns
- walnut oil (or a good quality olive oil)
- OPTIONAL: freeze-dried apple
- OPTIONAL: edible flowers
- Make a marinade for the beetroot by mixing the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Marinate the sliced beets for at least 30 minutes
- Let the beets drain on a piece of paper towel and arrange them nicely on 4 plates
- Divide the diced apple and radish on the beet slices
- Crumble 2 slices of goat cheese per plate
- Finish with some rye bread crumbs, pink peppercorns, coarsely ground hazelnuts and a dash of good quality (walnut) oil
For that extra wow factor
- Transfer one whole bag of freeze-dried apple in a sealable bag and roll with a rolling pin until the wedges are powder. Put the powder in a flat dish
- With clean hands roll little balls of the goat cheese slices (3 per slice) and place them on the apple powder. If you have made all the balls gently shake the dish to cover all sides of the goat cheese with the powder. Do this just before serving to avoid the apple powder getting moist
- Make the crumble of rye bread by baking the crumbs for a few minutes in a little butter. Sprinkle the crumbs over a lined baking tray and let dry and further bake for 20-25 minutes in a 160 degrees oven
- Finally, place the edible flowers on the salad
This salad may seem a lot of work but remember that basically everything is easy to prepare upfront. Cutting the vegetables is probably most of the work; the plating goes fast, really! Try this delicious, simple combination of beetroot, goat cheese and apple on a sunny weekday; or use your creativity to turn it into a wonderful dish for a dinner party!
What is your ultimate tip for creating that wow factor on a plate? I’m curious to hear, will you leave a message below?