If you are like me and really don’t like cooking frantically in front of guests, then this starter is perfect for you. It can all be made ahead and is so easy to prepare, yet looks stunning. Burrata is a combination of mozzarella and cream, with a liquid centre. It has become very fashionable lately on restaurant menus and I love it.
Buratta – 1 large, fresh as possible
Beetroot – 2 large, whole and unpeeled
Radishes – A handful, sliced in half
Thyme – 1 teaspoon
Oregano – 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice – 2 Tablespoon, plus a little extra for the radishes
Shallot – 1/2
Dijon mustard – 1/2 Teaspoon
Honey – 1/4 teaspoon
Watercress or other salad leaves to serve
Edible flowers such as nasturcians or small pinks to garnish (if you can’t get these just use some pretty herbs … no glitter!)
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Take two large squares of tin foil and place a beetroot into each square. Divide the Thyme and Oregano between the two and season with some black pepper and salt. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a few tablespoons of water then seal the parcels tightly to allow the beetroots to steam. Pop these on to a tray and into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the flesh is tender to a sharp knife. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool enough before you handle them.
Meanwhile, slice the radishes in half and lay them onto a tray. Drizzle these with a little olive oil and lemon and season with some salt and pepper and pop them into the oven for 10-15 minutes until just starting to roast, you want them to keep a little crunch.
You can also make the dressing whilst the beets are roasting. Finely chop the shallot and mix with the vinegar and mustard and leave this for 5 minutes. Add the honey and then slowly whisk in a few tablespoons of olive oil until the dressing forms a smooth emulsion. Season it with salt and pepper and whisk well before using.
Once the beets are cooled, remove them from the parcels and gently push the skin away. If they are cooked it should come away quite easily. If you struggle with this, you can always use a vegetable peeler. Slice these into rounds and lay them onto the plate. Place the burrata on top of the beetroot and decorate the rest of the plate with the radishes, salad, dressing and flowers if you have them.
Serve alongside some crusty bread or simply on its own.
– When you’ve peeled the beetroot, WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY or you will end up with a pink Burrata …. yep that happened!