Put together this starter of soft blue cheese, tangy pickled root vegetables and jewelled oranges and pomegranate seeds to the delight of your dinner party guests.
Serves 4 as a starter
½ small red beetroot, cut into matchsticks
½ small pink beetroot, cut into matchsticks
½ small golden beetroot, cut into matchsticks
Small carrot, cut into matchsticks
1½ tbsp unrefined caster sugar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Lemon peel, julienned
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil, plus a dash to serve (optional)
2–3 oranges, peeled and sliced
80g radicchio, torn into small pieces
80g pomegranate seeds
100g Cropwell Bishop Beauvale, crumbled
Pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
1. In one bowl, combine the red beetroot with 2 pinches of salt; in another, combine the remaining matchsticks with 3 pinches of salt. After 20 minutes, squeeze out the juices and place the vegetables in two clean bowls.
2. Dissolve the sugar and 1 tsp salt in the vinegar and 3 tbsp water. Stir ½ tbsp into the red beetroot and 1 tbsp into the remaining vegetables. After 30 minutes, squeeze out again.
3. Add about one-third of remaining pickling liquid to the red-beetroot bowl, the rest to the other bowl. Add lemon peel strips to each, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
4. The next day, mix 1 tbsp of the pickling liquid with lemon juice and oil for dressing.
5. Combine the oranges and radicchio in a bowl, dress, then put on a plate. Scatter with the pickled vegetables, pomegranate seeds and cheese. Drizzle with molasses or vinegar and oil.
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