This is the first recipe we’ve cooked from our new cookbook by Rachel Khoo, we watched her make this on her tv show and then drooled over it as soon as the book was opened on Christmas day so we knew this had to be the one! It falls somewhere in between indulgent eating and healthy, light food – a warm salad is a perfect choice for winter. If you want to watch Rachel make it (and drool over her small but perfectly formed Paris kitchen) then check out this video.
We’re suckers for anything containing goats cheese but this mousse is probably light enough that even a goats cheese sceptic could enjoy it. This could work with any soft cheese, it might be particularly nice with a French Roule cheese, the garlic and herbs would be lovely! The apple falls apart when roasted and add extra sweetness to the roasted carrots and parnsips while the sharp cider vinegar dressing cuts through all of the rich, sweet flavours. We found that this made a rather ridiculous amount of mousse (even after we spilled it on the floor, in the fridge, all over ourselves…), we had seconds of this salad and there was still plenty for Bird to take to work for lunch the following day! The recipe suggests this amount for 2 people as a main or 6 as a starter but we think there would be enough here for 4 as a main. If you want the full recipe with weights then buy the book – it’s fab!
Roughly chop a couple of parsnips, carrots and dessert apples, coat in sunflower oil and place in a roasting dish in a preheated oven. These will take around 45 minutes to be perfectly caramelised and gorgeous. Then it’s time to make the mousse – we recommend making it as soon as the vegetables are in the oven so it has time to chill down as we think that part of the cause of ours going absolutely everywhere was that it wasn’t quite chilled enough! Whisk about 150g of soft goats cheese with 6 tbsp of milk until it’s completely smooth. Then whip up 200ml of whipping cream into stiff peaks. Mix a quarter of this into the loosened goats cheese until completely combined and then fold the rest in. Transfer it to a piping bag and pop in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
If you want you can use some smoked bacon/lardons in this salad – we chose to! Cut into small pieces and fry slowly until really crisp and then set to one side. To make the dressing simply whisk together double the amount of oil to cider vinegar and add sea salt to taste. Once the roasted vegetables are soft and slightly caramelised take them out of the oven and let them sit for a few minutes while you finely slice 1-2 cooked beetroots. Now it’s time to plate up! We’re not brilliant at delicate presentation so there was a fair amount of flapping and stressing for a few minutes in our kitchen. Dot some blobs of goats cheese on the plates, you’re supposed to use a 1cm nozzle but we didn’t have one so we just didn’t use a nozzle on the piping bag. Then place the warm roasted vegetables, the beetroot and some raw spinach leaves around the plate, scatter over the bacon and drizzle on some dressing. Sit down and feel extremely fancy!
Despite the fact that we, and our kitchen, ended up covered in goats cheese mousse (which some may argue is no bad thing!) we absolutely loved this recipe and will definitely make it again. There are so many lovely looking recipes in the book, we’re excited to share some more with you this year! We served ours with some of the delicious Rosemary and Walnut bread that featured in our last post to give it a bit more substance – just what you need after a hard day at work.