Sunday, 5 June 2011

Spinacheeshroom Beetrosti (or 'Beetroot Can Be Brunch')

I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't always fancy breakfast on a Sunday, instead preferring a later brunch which will see me through until dinner. Unfortunately, I didn't think about putting the beetroot on to boil until far too late in the morning for this to really count as brunch, but you get the idea!

This is pretty simple marriage of ingredients that are well known to go together and which I happened to have in the house. As is often the case, I didn't know what I was going to make (except that beetroot would be involved) until I found myself pulling various things out of the fridge. The meal comprised of fresh spinach, balsamic beetroot, goat's cheese, portobello mushrooms and a potato & thyme rosti.

Beetroot takes around an hour to cook, boiled whole, so while that was cooking, I grated up a load of potatoes which needed to be squeezed hard and patted down with a teatowel to ensure they weren't watery. Mixed in with diced onion, crushed garlic, about a tablespoon of fresh thyme, salt and pepper, plus as much of a beaten egg as was needed to make a sticky squish.

I heated up olive oil in a victoria sponge circular baking tray until very hot and loaded in the potato mixture, letting it fry on one side for about five minutes before covering with foil and bunging in the oven at 200 degrees.

When the beetroot were cooked I skinned them and cut them into segments, placed them in a baking tray with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I brought the liquid to a simmer on top of the stove, to reduce it down, before popping the tray in the oven at 200 degrees.

I then sliced a small goat's cheese into rounds and skinned small portobello mushrooms. These went onto a flat baking tray, lined with lightly oiled greaseproof paper. Then they were brushed with a little oil, ready to go under the grill as soon as the beetroot and rosti were ready.

While the cheese and mushrooms were grilling, I moved the beetroot onto the lower shelf of the oven and finished off the rosti. This involved turning out the rosti onto a plate, then sliding it into a very, very hot, oiled frying pan and leaving it for several minutes until brown and crispy. Then turned back out onto the plate and slid back into the (reheated and re-oiled) frying pan, until the other side was also crispy. Both sides need to be patted down with kitchen towel, to remove any excess grease after cooking.

I put the spinach into a large pan with a little water and simmered until completely wilted. I drained it, grated in a little nutmeg and added a small peice of butter, turning the leaves to coat them.

The spinach went into the bottom of a presentation ring. Before I got these, I used a round cookie cutter to stack things, it's not essential - just pleasingly pretentious. The beetroot segments on top of that, followed by the goat's cheese and a mushroom. Two slices of rosti on the side and it's good to go.

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