Romance, Chocolate, Vanilla & Beetroot!
Hot Chèvre & Beetroot Salad with Chocolate and Vanilla Balsamic Drizzle
And so finally that romantic of all days has arrived, and I truly hope you have all been showered with chocolates and flowers if you are a gal or maybe steak and chips with a pint of real ale if you are a chap. I have suggested several recipes for the big day over the last week or so, from scallops and duck breasts to heart shaped Welsh griddle cakes, however I have left the quirkiest and best until last – my secret offering for the We Should Cocoa event for February has finally been revealed; the challenge that requires us to make a savoury vegetarian recipe that incorporates chocolate – easy eh? Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog must have slipped an extra dram in her cocoa when she dreamt up this challenge, but I LOVE a challenge and so the culinary puzzle was solved when I received a bottle of Chocolate and Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar from Taste Gourmet Spice Company. The vinegar was sent to me as review product to try and try it I did, on several occasions! It is quite simple FAB – this is what Taste Gourmet Spice has to say about it, and I concur 100% :
This 4 year aged balsamic vinegar is the perfect base for our real infusions. To make it thicker & richer we’ve reduced it, simulating an even longer ageing process further to put it in a class of its own. Naturally sweeter (with no sugar), richer, thicker & packed with flavour – there’s nothing quite like it! Infused with pure cacao nibs & powder with real vanilla pods, this surprising and interesting combination really works!
The Chocolate and Vanilla were pronounced without being overly sweet and it all really worked so well with the beetroot and goats cheese……it was sophisticated with an element of frivolity and fun, and we (my husband and I – royal wave) were both caught in the act of mopping the “drizzle” up with a slice of bread at the end of the meal……..I’d say that was a bit of a result! The beetroot was the last packet that was sent to me by Love Beetroot recently and it was pre-cooked and peeled, so no work there then, just slice and serve. I have to say I was a little smug about this entry, it was a pretty tough challenge after all, but as soon as I tasted the divine chocolatey vinegar, I knew that it would be the perfect adornment for a salad of roots and goaty cheese on toast – simple, easy and very romantic.
Okay, the beetroot heart may be a bit cheesy, but why not. I cannot emphasise how wonderful this salad was; the chocolate and vanilla flavours were just perfect with the sweet beetroot and salty cheese, and the contrast of hot and cold with soft beetroot and crunchy toast was a fabulous marriage. This salad would make an elegant starter for any formal meal as well as a light luncheon dish as it was served when I made it, with a glass of Chinon and some extra bread for mopping duties……..So, here it is, my vegetarian savoury recipe with chocolate, easy peasy! Have a wonderful day filled with hearts, cupids and fluffy cushions………see you tomorrow, Karen.
Hot Chèvre & Beetroot Salad with Chocolate & Vanilla Balsamic Drizzle
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 4 Medium whole cooked beetroot
- 125g Chèvre log (goat's cheese log)
- 1/2 flute (small, narrow baguette)
- 50g rocket leaves
- 6 tablespoons chocolate and vanilla Balsamic vinegar (Taste Spice co uk)
A Simple and tasty seasonal salad of beetroot and Chèvre toasts with the unexpected twist of chocolate and vanilla Balsamic dressing.
|Step 1||Pre-heat the grill to its highest setting. Cut the beetroot into slices, putting 2 of the largest slices to one side. Cut heart shapes out of the 2 large beetroot slices with a biscuit/cookie cutter.|
|Step 2||Cut the flute (small baguette) into 6 slices. Cut the Chèvre into 6 slices and place them on top of the slices of bread.|
|Step 3||Put the rocket leaves on two plates and arrange the beetroot slices over the top of the leaves, leaving the heart shapes to one side for now.|
|Step 4||Place the Chèvre and bread slices under the grill until the cheese has just started to go soft and runny and has changed colour slightly. Carefully remove the hot Chèvre toasts from the grill pan and arrange them over the rocket leaves and beetroot slices. (Three toasts per person)|
|Step 5||Drizzle the chocolate and vanilla Balsamic vinegar over the salad and finally place the heart shaped beetroot slice on top. Serve immediately with more crusty bread.|
Brownieville Girl says
Man oh man Karen – you’ve really hit the jackpot here – this looks (and I can even taste it in my imagination) fantastic (even with the cheesy beetroot heart!!!!!)
LOL! Thanks! The cheesy beetroot heart is also growing on me!
Mark Willis says
Well, I wouldn’t have said that either vanilla or chocolate would go with beetroot, but you are so enthusiastic about this combination that it sounds worth a try! (And goat’s cheese on toast is a personal favourite of mine.)
Thanks Mark! Beetroot and chocolate are old friends, it was the vanilla that was a surprise to me!
This is pure and utter perfection for me. The combination works incredibly well. I actually want to eat this now! I can taste the combo. Choc and beetroot are ideal bedfellows as are beetroot and goats cheese so I imagine all three are sublime. I’m a bit stuck for we should cocoa this month. Clearly I need to get creative!
I am sure you will come up with something VERY creative Dom!
How sweet! I love the heart shaped beets!
Wow, Karen, you could sell pigeon s*** on a plate just with your photos!! Totally amazing. Why not try and do an e-book — sell it on the Internet??? This recipe and the photos just blew me away!!
Thanks Zuri! E-book is an idea as I am still ploughing through my seasonal book, making notes, researching and developing recipes!
Ha ha, brilliant Karen, love your surprise. Chocolate and beetroot are a winning combination anyway and the chocolate balsamic sounds magic. I’d be very happy to join you for supper on this one, although three might be a bit of a crowd! Your photos look perfect as ever and you sort of have to have a heart for the big day really. Thanks so much for entering WSC – I now know I will have at least 2 entries 😉
Thanks Choclette! I am sure you will get a flurry of entries as the deadline approaches!
Javelin Warrior says
Karen, this salad has everything I love! Cheese, bread, beets, chocolate AND healthfulness – simply amazing… I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration
I am honoured that you will be featuring this, thanks so much! I will be over to drool over all of your Friday Food Fetish dishes in a minute……
Fiona Matters says
This looks fabulous for a Sunday decadant meal. I adore goat’s cheese but I’d forgotten. I might try to bake bread in the lakeland mini cake tray to get the circles right. Quite keen on the idea.
Amanda Mallows says
Wow – that looks yummy! Must give it a try.