This post is not about cupcakes, cookies or brownies. It's not about beating butter and sugar together, adding eggs, flour and milk to make one of the most delicious meals ever... cake batter. It's not about whipped cream, frosting or chocolate. And it's not about Whoopie Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling or Little Chocolate Macaroon Tarts. It's about the food I eat when I'm not eating all those things listed above in an effort to make sure my thighs don't rub together when I walk.
Carpaccio of Beetroot, Blood Orange, Goat's Cheese and Herbs
from Gourmet TravellerServes 4
4 beetroot (about 100gm each), scrubbed
1 litre (4 cups) red wine vinegar
220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
1 bunch thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 blood orange
2cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon quill
1 star anise
40 gm walnut halves
60 gm soft goat’s cheese
1 blood orange, segmented
1/2 cup (loosely packed) herbs, such baby basil and flat-leaf parsley
For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 180C.
Bring beetroot, vinegar, sugar, thyme, bay leaves, orange rind and juice, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and 1 litre water to the boil in a saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until beetroot are tender (30 minutes). Drain (reserve cooking liquid) and set aside to cool, then peel, thinly slice on a mandolin, set aside.
Strain 80ml cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan (discard solids and remaining liquid), bring to a simmer over high heat, reduce to a syrup (5-7 minutes), set aside.
Meanwhile, roast walnuts on an oven tray, shaking occasionally, until golden (2-4 minutes), set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
Divide beetroot slices among plates, scatter over blood orange segments, herbs and walnuts, dot with goat's cheese, drizzle with oil and beetroot reduction, season to taste and serve.