Beetroot, Pear and Celery Heart Salad
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Step 2: Trim the stalks from the beetroot. Wash and dry the beetroot then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Wrap each beetroot up in foil. Place wrapped beetroots onto a baking tray and place into the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours or until tender (they do take a long time to cook).
Step 4: Remove beetroots from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing the foil, then peel the skin as soon as you can handle them. Drizzle Vino Cotto over the beets and set aside to rest and cool.
Step 5: To make the Red Wine Vinegar dressing, spoon the mustard into a bowl, add the vinegar and mix well. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil slowly, stirring slowly to emulsify (you can also do this with a stick blender). Add salt, pepper and sugar, stir and adjust the seasoning (If you ever add too much sugar, you can adjust by adding a little more salt or some more vinegar – let your taste guide you.) Set aside.
Step 6: Slice the pears into halves and then into eighths, slicing out the core as you go along.
Step 7: Remove the inner heart from the bunch of celery and roughly slice it. Keep as many pale inner leave as possible, placing it all into a mixing bowl along with the sliced pear. Drizzle over the Verjuice to stop discolouration and gently toss together.
Step 8: Cut the beets in quarters and place into the mixing bowl with the pear and celery heart mix. Sprinkle over the chervil leaves and walnuts then dress with the Red Wine Vinegar dressing and place onto a serving platter.
Step 9: Season with a little more sea salt and black pepper and serve.
Maggie's tip: Add salad burnet when it's growing in the garden, as it goes well with the celery.
40ml 2 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30ml Vino Cotto
1 large ripe pear (packham or corella)
1 bunch celery
1/4 cup celery leaves
1/4 cup chervil leaves
2 tbspn walnut roughly chopped
to season sea salt
40ml 2 tbspn Verjuice