Anuj Thakur first learnt to cook by watching his father in the Himalayan hill station in Himachal state, India, where he grew up. Since then Anuj has clocked up 18 years’ experience before taking over as Head Chef at the White Hart restaurant.
This recipe uses seasonal ingredients, and our locally-sourced goat’s cheese is one of the best.
This particular recipe is reasonably simple and everyone at home can do it. Goat’s cheese is a popular, accessible cheese and this recipe offers a little twist. It can be a strong cheese, so to mellow the flavour I add milk and cream in this recipe.
The ingredients and components in this recipe are all very much in season: beetroot and sunflower seeds are easily available, and the latter are not as expensive a pine nuts. Sunflower seeds are also high in protein.
There are many ways to serve beetroot. When pickled it lasts longer, and you can use it in salads or roasted in a main course with game if that’s your thing. Serve the goat’s cheese mousse with pickled beetroot, sunflower seeds, and mixed salad leaves (in the White Hart, we use organic leaves picked on the Dartington estate). That’s it; give it a go.
Goat’s cheese mousse with pickled beetroot, organic dressed salad leaves, sunflower seeds and toasted brioche. Serves 5
|Goat’s cheese||100 grams|
|Semi skimmed milk||100 grams|
|Double cream||100 grams|
|Crushed pepper corn|
|Garlic clove||1, crushed|
|Gelatine leaves||1 1/2|
For the mousse
Slowly warm the milk, cream, diced shallot, crushed garlic, bay leaf and peppercorn in a thick-based pan and leave it aside to infuse all the flavours into the milk and cream mix. Strain this mix and whisk the goat’s cheese very slowly into it.
Heat, mix again, and add the gelatine leaves to it. Once the gelatine has totally dissolved, strain the mix and add the chopped chives, pour into moulds and leave it aside to set.
For the pickled beetroot
For the pickling liquid take equal parts of sugar, red wine, vinegar and double amount of water and a little salt.
Simmer the beetroot in the above mix until it is cooked and let it cool in the same mix. Once the beetroot is cool, peel off the skin and preserve in the same liquid.
Remove the goat’s cheese from the moulds and arrange very gently on one side of the plate, garnishing with the toasted sunflower seeds. Dress some salad leaves and arrange them next to the goat’s cheese mousse followed by the diced beetroot.
Garnish with toasted crostini or brioche bread and serve.