I had planned to share a completely different recipe with you today, but it needs further testing, so this is by way of a bonus post. It makes a healthy springtime meal, but not one where you feel you should be wearing a hair shirt under your pinny.
Instagram followers may already have seen it outlined on my feed, but I’ve provided more detail here. My measurements are still a bit rough and ready because I didn’t weigh anything, but follow your instincts, because some of the quantities really are a matter of taste.
If you can’t get rainbow carrots, use the usual orange ones. The salad will still be colourful. You’ll have more of the dressing than you need but it’ll keep in the fridge.
Rainbow Carrot and Beetroot Salad with Goat's Cheese Croutons
3-4 medium carrots
2 medium beetroot
Salt and pepper
1 tspn coriander seeds, roughly crushed
A few handfuls of baby spinach, rocket or lamb’s lettuce
A handful of toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
2 slices of good white farmhouse bread
1 small goat’s cheese log
For the dressing:
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
Zest of 1/4 of an orange (a scant 1/2 tspn)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tspn Dijon mustard
About 90ml olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a jar, clamping on a lid and giving it a good shake. Taste and adjust to your liking. Set aside for the flavours to blend.
Peel the carrots and beets and cut into large bite-sized chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.
Roast until tender but still with some bite … 25-30 minutes in my oven but they may take a little longer. Try to keep the beets and any purple carrots separate from the rest so the colours don’t bleed.
Toss them with enough of the dressing to thoroughly coat, again keeping them separate, then cool until tepid or room temperature.
Toast the bread and cut out six discs the same diameter as the goat’s cheese log. Heat the grill to medium-high, put a circle of cheese on each crouton and grill until browned and bubbling.
Divide the spinach between two flattish serving bowls and toss thoroughly with a scrap more of the dressing. Mix through the beetroot, scatter over the nuts and sit three croutons in the centre on each bowl.