Living in Seoul has made me realise how very spoilt we are in Australia with our year round access to fresh produce. Sure, some of that comes from apples stored forever and a day, but some of that must come from the fact that Australia is a really big country with a variety of climates from tropical to arid to whatever Tasmania is. And we kind of take it for granted that you can get good quality lettuce, pears, beans, avocados, grapes, peas and other such deliciousness at pretty much any time of the year.
But I take this for granted no more! In Seoul, access to fresh fruit and vegetables is incredibly seasonal. These days when I see something new and tasty appear on the supermarket shelf I get genuinely excited and I make the most of it while I can, because who knows if it'll still be on the shelves next week.
Currently beetroot has been making a much appreciated appearance at our local supermarket, and to celebrate I've been making this happy salad a lot! It's a great entree for a simple meal - maybe of flash fried steak, red wine sauce and a crusty bread stick. I love the sweet earthy flavour of roasted beetroot, and the bright colour it adds to the salad - yum!
Beetroot + Goats Cheese Salad
1. Roast your beetroot - wrap it in foil and stick it in the oven at 180C for about two hours, you'll know it's done when a thin skewer passes easily through it.
2. Skin your beetroot - rub it under running water. You may want to wear rubber gloves here as it can get rather purple. Leave to cool for a bit and then chop it in to chunks.
3. Toast some walnuts - crumble a handful of walnuts in to a heavy based pot and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
4. Toss leaves and beetroot in dressing* - throw some tasty leaves in a bowl (I like using mache for this, but a soft butter lettuce could work too), add your beetroot chunks and dressing and mix about until everything is well coated.
5. Put everything together on a plate - divvy out the leaf and beetroot mix, then sprinkle with toasted walnuts and crumbled goats cheese.
*Dressing - any basic vinaigrette works well with this salad, so feel free to use your favourite. If you're curious, here's the one I use: squeeze of lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp white wine vinegar, sea salt and ground black pepper.