Carpaccio of beetroot, blood orange, feta and baby herbs


  • Serves 6 people

  • 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 orange
  • 10 gm (2cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 star anise
  • 40 gm walnut halves
  • 60 gm soft goat’s milk feta
  • 1 blood orange, segmented (see note)
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) baby herbs, such as ruby chard, celery leaf, basil and flat-leaf parsley
  • For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil
01   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.
02   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.
03   Meanwhile, roast walnuts on an oven tray, shaking occasionally, until golden (2-4 minutes), set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
04   Meanwhile, whisk feta in a bowl until light and fluffy.
05   Divide beetroot slices among plates, scatter over blood orange, baby herbs and walnuts, dot with feta, drizzle with oil and beetroot reduction, season to taste and serve.
Note If blood orange is unavailable, substitute another variety of orange.

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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