We are coming to the end of last year’s stored beetroot and can look forward to some fresh summer beetroot soon. I haven’t planted beetroot this year as I decided I would grow peas, beans, more beans, tomatoes and courgettes only. Not to worry though as last year’s beetroot are still popping up in my vegetable box and down at the local market. I’ve called this a ‘salad’ because it sort of falls in the salad category with the beetroot, walnuts and dressing but at the same time it is a pasta dish; a very luminously coloured pasta dish at that.
If you have been reading over the last few months you might have noticed I went through a rainbow of beetroot in various different dishes; golden beetroot soup, candy beetroot tart and purple beetroot risotto. I was yet to try beetroot with pasta but Thursday night dinner loomed and with a drawer full of beetroot and not a lot else there was only one thing for it.
Put the pasta into a pan of salted boiling water. Cook according to packet instructions (around 8 minutes). While the pasta cooks make the dressing by whisking the walnut oil and red wine vinegar together until lightly emulsified. Mix in a little salt, plenty of pepper and some of the chopped dill. Depending on how salty the goat’s cheese is you may need to add a little more salt to the dressing.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and stir through the dressing to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Heat up a pan and add the chopped walnuts, keep moving them around until lightly toasted. Be careful not to let them catch. While the walnuts are toasting grate the beetroot and the goat’s cheese separately. Mix the grated beetroot and the pasta together and serve in bowls. Top with the toasted walnuts, lots of goat’s cheese and a little extra dill. Perfect on its own but also brilliant if you add some crispy fried bacon.
The beetroot was soft and sweet and turned the pasta a brilliant fuchsia. The walnuts added crunch and depth of flavour and the cheese gave the dish a slightly sharp and creamy touch. The dill dressing brought it all together with very faint aniseed and freshness. Surprisingly filling but also quite light this was a fantastic dinner.