Thursday, 27 June 2013

bill granger's goats curd and lentil salad with roasted beetroot

Holy shit - look at this:

I think I may have mentioned it at some point previously, but one of the many many benefits of helping out the K-Kats is the weekly chance to pore through her collection of cookery books, before getting all experimental on her time, with one eye on trying stuff out for home. Brucie bonus!

Today she gets to enjoy my very-own made-up mushroom risotto, handily using up her petrified fridge fungi in the process, enlivened with a wee nip of vermouth to help Rafe sleep. Tonight I get to enjoy this experimental salad culled from her copy of Bill Granger's Sydney Food, whilst Ana is lording up her literature knowledge at Book Club.

There's so much to love about this: the earthy lentils, sweet roast beetroot, asparagus, balsamic vinegar and creamy curd cheese. I think it's officially my favourite salad. Of 2013. It's also super, super easy, taking less than 10 minutes, if you discount the roasting time.

Now for message from our sponsors: Usually my balsamic needs are taken care of by Waitrose Essentials and/or the bottle that looks like a mini-jug, you know the one. Anyway, on offer recently was Belazu's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Total. Game. Changer.

You think you know balsamic, but I've now discovered the Holy Grail of Modena, Plato's Perfect Form of vinegar if you will. It's thicker than usual, unctuous and honeyed, with a lovely rounded finish from being aged in oak barrels. I promise you, you will not go back once you've tried it.

In other sponsorship news, you will not believe how cheap curd cheese is. According to the lady on the cheese counter, I was the first person she can remember ever buying some. At 60p per 100g, I will be back, if only because I need something to go with the rest of the bunch of beetroot I've roasted.

Wine Time
There are a couple of the red herrings lurking in this recipe: asparagus and lentils. Usually these would be front and centre on the palate, dominating everything around them, but here they only provide background notes to the sweetness of beetroots and balsamic (did I mention you should get some Belazu Balsamic?) and the creamy curd cheese.

With this in mind I reckon what would go down a treat here are either a lovely New World Pinot Noir, which has low tannins and lots of lovely dark fruit flavours OR a good quality Alsatian Riesling, which again has the acidity to balance the claggy qualities of the cheese/lentils, and the necessary residual sugar for the beets/vinegar.

Two of my favourites there, so go wild and crazy.

goats curd and lentil salad with roasted beetroot - Bill Granger, Bill's Sydney Food, p83

PS Asparagus AND Beetroot - I look forward to reporting back on the colour of my wee tomorrow.

PPS Asparagus now from Chile. What is this country coming to?

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