Easy Entertaining Recipes by Ruth Weighill of Forkful Food
I think we’ve all made the mistake of trying to make over-complicated dishes for a dinner party, only to spend much of the night with your head in the oven while your guests have a whale of a time, and wonder where you’ve got to, so this menu follows my three golden rules of cooking for friends: 1. Keep it simple, 2. Prepare as much as possible ahead of time 3. Enjoy your guests.
Easily smart enough for a dinner party starter, but also fitting the “oh, it was no effort – I threw it all together just before you came” vibe of a girls lunch, here is my recipe for Glazed Beetroot with Goat’s Curd & Caramelised Nuts.
All the elements can be made or assembled days in advance.
Glazed roasted beetroot with goat’s curd and caramelized nuts (serves 4)
This recipe looks fantastic and tastes delicious. It is quite straight-forward but if you don’t feel up to caramelizing the nuts, you can just roast them for about 6 or 7 minutes in a 180°C oven instead.
For The Roasted Beetroot & Goat’s Curd:
- 500-600g Bunched beetroot, scrubbed well & keep the stalks
- 150g Soft, rindless goat’s cheese
- 40ml Milk
- 50g Mixed salad leaves (baby chard, rocket, watercress are good)For The Glaze:
- Beetroot trimmings
- 40ml Runny honey
- 50ml Red wine vinegar
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
For The Salad Dressing:
- 1 Clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 Teaspoon of Dijon mustard</>
- 2 Tablespoons of White wine vinegar
- 5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 30gms Flat leaf parsley, chopped
For The Caramelised nuts:
- 100g Nuts of your choice such as walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans
- 100g Caster or granulated sugar
Roasted beetroot – make up to 3 days ahead:
Preheat the oven to 200oC/Gas 6. Trim the tops, bottoms and stalks from the beetroot, chop roughly and place in a small saucepan. Roughly chop one small beetroot, or a quarter of a large one and add to the beetroot trimmings. Place the rest of the beetroot on a sheet of foil in a roasting tin, sprinkle with sea salt and scrunch up the foil to form a parcel and bake for about one hour until the beets are tender – test with a skewer which should find no resistance. Unwrap and once cooled, peel the beets, and cut into wedges. Add the skins to the other trimmings.
Beetroot glaze – make up to 3 days ahead:
Pour about 250ml water over the beetroot trimmings in the pan – enough to just cover them. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water turns deep red. Strain the liquid into a bowl, clean the pan, discard the trimmings then return the liquid to the pan along with the honey, vinegar and a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a shiny, syrupy glaze – about 15 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil, season to taste and set aside.
Goat’s curd – make up to 3 days ahead:
Whisk the goats cheese and milk together until fully combined and smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper if necessary, and set aside.
Dressing – make on the morning
Whisk the mustard, garlic, vinegar and a little salt & pepper together until the salt has fully dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Stir in the parsley, and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper or vinegar as necessary.
Caramelised nuts – make on the morning:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the sugar in a heavy based frying pan over a low to medium heat. As the sugar begins to turn to liquid, swirl the pan occasionally to ensure that all of it has melted, then turn the heat up to high to begin the caramelisation. As it starts to brown, carefully swirl the hot sugar around the pan to ensure it caramelises evenly. As soon as it has turned a nice golden brown (think the colour of runny honey), remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nuts ensuring that they are all completely covered. Immediately pour the nuts and caramel onto the parchment paper and leave to cool. Set aside, uncovered, until needed.
Reheat the beetroot glaze in a saucepan large enough to hold all the beetroot, add the beets and gently warm through.
Toss the salad leaves with the dressing and distribute between the plates. Arrange the warm beetroot wedges on the salad, scatter over the caramelised nuts, then spoon or pipe small blobs of the goat’s curd around the plate and serve.
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