This was an accidental salad, the kind that you throw together with the contents of your fridge, but instantly love. For the best flavour, use a young, summer beetroot and follow the instructions below. You can also use a packet of pre-cooked beetroot, but I would steer away from the pickled variety. My favourite goat’s cheese is made on Childwickbury Farm in St Albans, also available online. It’s fresh and very mild. If you can’t find a suitable goat’s cheese, you could try using feta instead.
3-4 small beetroot or a 250g pack pre-cooked baby beetroot
250g smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed
100g fresh goat’s cheese or feta cheese
2 tbsp mild olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
If you are using raw beetroot, put them in a pan and add enough water to cover along with a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender. The skin should start to peel away.
Drain and remove the beetroot, peel away the skin. Slice finely and arrange on a large plate.
Flake the smoked mackerel fillets (skin removed) over the beetroot.
Crumble over the fresh goat’s cheese or feta.
Mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over the salad.
Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley.