Beetroot and Goats' Cheese Crostini
A classic combination of flavours, and perfect for a traditional Christmas
- 150g whole raw beetroot
- 125g soft rindless goats’ cheese
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- Lemon juice, for squeezing
- For the maple walnuts
- 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- For the crostini
- 200g baton of rustic bread (sourdough is good, or anything sturdy and robust)
- Mild-tasting olive oil, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6
Scrub the beetroot to remove any dirt, then wrap them loosely but completely in a sheet of foil, with a pinch of salt. Roast-steam the beetroot for 50 minutes, or until tender to the point of a knife – small beetroot may take slightly less time. Remove from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool.
While the beetroot are roasting, cook the crostini. Cut the bread into 20 rounds about 1cm thick. Brush each side with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for eight to 12 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Place the walnuts in a small dry frying pan set over a medium heat. Cook, tossing often, until they begin to smell toasty. Remove from the heat, add the maple syrup and toss to coat. Set aside.
Rub or cut the skins away from the cooked beetroot, then roughly dice them.
Spread each crostino base generously with the goats’ cheese. Place three pieces of beetroot on top, then sprinkle over the walnut pieces, pressing both gently into the cheese so they don’t fall off. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves, then pour a little maple syrup onto a spoon. Drizzle it sparingly over each crostino. Finally, squeeze over a little lemon juice.