58. Mozzarella and beetroot salad


4 unpeeled beetroot, leaves trimmed
6 tsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
handful of mizuna or rocket
4 pieces buffalo mozzarella
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Put the beetroot in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 40-50 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid.

2. When the beetroot are cold, remove from the liquid with a perforated spoon. Reserve the liquid.

3. Peel the beetroot and reserve the skin. Slice the flesh thinly and put in a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate.

4. Make the dressing by putting the beetroot peelings in a food processor along with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the beetroot cooking water, 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process to a smooth purée, then scrape the mixture into a bowl. Whisk in the remaining 2 teaspoons of vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper. Leave to stand.

5. Put the salad leaves in a bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat.

6. Arrange the leaves and the beetroot slices around the edge of a serving plate, alternating the leaves and the beetroot. Place the mozzarella in the centre. Drizzle the mozzarella with olive oil.

7. Sprinkle with several grindings of black pepper, spoon over the beetroot dressing and serve.