Saturday, April 01, 2006

To market...for beetroot

Wells Market on a Saturday positively buzzes. Wells is technically a city because it has a cathedral, but it is more like a town on account of its tiny size. In these dark rainswept winter days the vegetable choice is confined to roots, which I do like,
and today my thoughts turned to jewel-like beetroots. Large beetroot take an age to cook, but little ones take no time at all.

But before I made it to the vegetables I lingered at the stall of Bruno, from Préaux in France, who sells cheese and paté and the most unctuous goose rillettes.

Then on to the beetroot, and fresh flat leaf parsley, and a big bunch of daffodils for the study window. After lunch (rillettes and toast - the toast made from the billowing dough from yesterday which amazingly made the best loaf ever) I turned the oven up high, chopped all but a tuft off the beetroot, put them in a dish with a little water and covered the dish with tinfoil. Into the oven for an hour while I write this.

After about an hour they can be pierced easily with a sharp knife. Leave them to cool a little and, while still warm, pour over some red wine or balsamic vinegar, maybe a little olive oil and herbs, perhaps some pine nuts, and serve with wild rocket and goats cheese. The little ruby baby beets are sweet and almost crunchy, the white goats cheese is tart and creamy, it's a lovely supper dish or a starter to give the appetite an edge.

Only thing I would add is don't do any of this on any surface that the juice will stain, but I bet you knew that.


Maureen said...

Hi June,
this brings back happy memories of a childhood comfort food. A bowl of cubed beetroot and cheddar cheese often awaited me at home after school. I'll certainly be trying out your version of an old favourite. Maureen

lindy said...

And to think I was in Wells last year, and missed the market. Actually, it was a Sunday, and my friends and I spent a fair amount of time with our noses pressed against the glass of an intriguing cookware shop, which was, of course, shut.

I hope to be able to make a trip to England again in not too many years.

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