This salad is a winter delight from one of my favourite Cape Town chefs – Stefan Marais. Stefan is the executive chef of Societi Bistro and The Brasserie in Tokai and has very generously shared it with me, to share with you. Crunchy, citrussy, earthy and sweet, it has so many of my favourite flavours going on – like beetroot and goats cheese. Frankly its irresistible.
Stefan often inspires me in my cooking and a particular salad of his from the summer 2011 menu caught my fancy, and drove me into the kitchen in an attempt to recreate it. Watermelon salad with goats cheese, cress, mint and vodka is a luscious treat, and I cant wait to make it again when things warm up.
I styled and shot this recipe at Societi Bistro and also managed to sneak in a few pics of Stefan. When shooting people I am a little out of my comfort zone, so was rather proud at these. What do you think?
Stefan says: ‘I love this salad, crisp clean winter flavours. I serve it with the cheese, warm out of the oven so that it slightly wilts the rest of the goodies’.
Recipe | serves 4 as a starter
- 4 Medium sized beetroots
- 4 Oranges
- Large bunch rocket
- 200g goats cheese
- 60g Sesame Seeds
- 50g all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 30ml high quality aged balsamic vinegar
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 100ml raw honey
- Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The beetroots take the longest to prepare and can be done up to a day in advance. Preheat an oven to 150C. Wash the beetroot and wrap each one in foil with a little drizzle of olive oil. Place on a tray and roast in the oven for approximately one hour. Remove from the oven and pierce into the beetroot with a small paring knife. It should be an even, firm, but soft texture all the way through. Once cool, rub away the beetroot’s skin and cut into wedges.
Slice the goats cheese into 4 equal size pieces. Place the flour in a bowl and season the flour with a little salt and pepper. Coat the goats cheese in the flour. Break the egg into a bowl and whisk, place the sesame seeds into another bowl. Take the cheese and coat it with the beaten egg, then the sesame seeds. Repeat this process and coat all 4 pieces of cheese evenly with the seeds and set aside in the fridge.
Preheat an oven to 160C half an hour before you are ready to serve. Place the goats cheese on a piece of baking paper on a tray and bake for 10 minutes.
Open the oven, remove the tray and spoon the honey over the goats cheese, return to the oven for another five minutes.
In the mean time, segment the oranges and place in a bowl with the beetroot and rocket. Dress with the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and arrange on a plate.
Remove the tray from the oven and roll the goats cheese around in the honey coating it all over.
Break the goats cheese over the salad, drizzle with any excess honey from the tray and serve.
I have written about Societi over the years, and been fortunate enough to attend many menu tastings, including on Saturday, where I sampled some of the ‘Tour Through France‘ items. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in delectable regional French cuisine. 10 weeks, 10 regions paired with 10 exceptional wines.
The first region kicks off today, and its Paris, paired with the very fine Joubert-Tradauw Syrah
Gratinee de Halles R42
French Onion Soup, Gruyere Croutes
Braised Pork Belly, Braising vegetables, Mustard Relish
Crisp Choux pastry, Praline crème patisserie
The French Onion soup, laced with bacon was my favourite dish of the day, and I’m thinking its definitely the next one of Stefan’s that I am going to try and recreate.
You can check out all the fun that went down on Saturday on Twitter #TourThroughFrance
Societi Bistro: 50 Orange Street, Gardens. Tel 021 4242100 (Booking advised).
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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