Chef Rishi Naleendra shares a simple starter that showcases the vibrant flavours of greens
Photos: Cheek By Jowl
Serves 4-6 people
- 1kg Baby Beetroot with leaves (2 bunches)
- 750ml Pickling Liquid for Beetroot and Golden Raisins (recipe below) Golden Raisins
- 100g Golden Raisins
- 200g Soft Goat’s Cheese
- 100g Cream
- 50g Wild Rice
- 200g Olive Oil
- 100g Picked Watercress (for garnish)
5 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- Fresh Horseradish (to taste)
- 250ml Water
- 250g Sugar
- 500ml Sherry Vinegar
- Mix all the ingredients together, whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.
Soft Goats Cheese
- 200g Goats Cheese
- 100g Cream
1 Pinch of salt
- Whip all the ingredients in an electronic mixer, with the paddle attachment, till just combined. Make sure you don’t over whip the mixture.
Puffed Wild Rice
- Heat up the oil until lightly smoky then add the wild rice to the oil. As soon as they puff up, take out the rice and place it on a kitchen towel to absorb all the oil.
- Cut the tops off the baby beetroot. Place one bunch of the baby beetroots in an aluminum foil and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the thyme and a clove of garlic before wrapping the beetroots into a parcel. Roast it in the oven for 30- 40 minutes at 180 degrees until it is just cooked. You should easily be able to pierce a knife into the beetroots.
- Once ready, remove the skins while they are warm, cut in them half and you can store them in the fridge until assembly.
- For the pickled beetroot, peel the skins off the other bunch of baby beetroot and cut them into quarters, place them in a sanitised pickling jar.
- Bring the pickling solution to a boil and turn off the heat. Pour it over the beetroot to cover.
- Save some pickling liquid for the golden raisins and apply the same method to pickle the golden raisins. The beetroot and raisins should be pickled for at least a day before usage.
- Spoon the goat’s cheese onto a dinner plate. Season the roasted beetroot with a touch more salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil on top and place the roasted beetroot over the goat’s cheese.
- Mix the pickled beetroot and raisins together and place over the roasted beetroot. Sprinkle the puffed wild rice over the beetroot and use a mirco-plane to grate the fresh horseradish over the top (peeling the fresh horseradish into chunks makes it easier to grate it).
- Season the watercress with salt, pepper and olive oil. This is the final item to be placed on the top of the salad.
Chef Rishi Naleendra
As head chef of Cheek By Jowl, Rishi Naleendra has a natural, instinctive flair for dissecting ingredients and techniques to their basic makeup and functions. With this inclination, he has been creating what he humbly calls a very logical combinations of flavours, textures and aesthetics, striking a balance in his dishes that have received many accolades.