Barbecue beetroot and ember onion salad
Ingredients Serves 6
1kg beetroot (ideally raw)
1kg medium-large sized red onions
200g soft goat’s cheese (Waitrose’s Moody’s rosary ash is perfect)
5-6 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 pack of fresh dill, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1. Scrub beetroot and chop any stalks
2. Place in saucepan
3. Bring the pan to the boil and reduce to a simmer until the beetroot is cooked (usually 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on size).
4. Drain and then leave to cool for 15 minutes, before pushing the skin off with your thumbs, and breaking apart into 2-3 rough chunks.
5. Toss the beetroot in a tablespoon of rapeseed oil and leave aside.
6. Light your barbecue. (When the first flames have died down and the coals are clearly hot, place the onions in the embers and leave for around 45 minutes until their skin totally blackened but the insides soft and sweet).
7. On a gas barbecue, you can either keep the onions whole and cook for around an hour, occasionally with the hood down. Or cut in half, leaving the skin on, then blacken the onions completely on the cut face for 10 minutes, before turning over and cooking on the skinned side for another 10.
8. Collect the beetroot, remaining ingredients, plus two large bowls and a chopping board.
9. When the onion flesh appears soft, remove from the barbecue and place in a bowl to sit and rest for 10 minutes while you char the beetroot.
10. Place the beetroot on the bars of the barbecue, rough edges first and char for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, so they char nicely on the outside and are warmed through.
11. Meanwhile, remove the near ash-like skin from the onions, pushing the flesh onto the chopping board.
12. Chop the onions roughly into halves and quarters, scrape into a clean bowl.
13. Add the charred and warm beetroot.
14. Season with sea salt, black pepper, rapeseed oil and sherry vinegar.
15. Mix well, then decant onto a serving platter.
16. Break the goat’s cheese over the beetroot and onions, add a touch more oil and vinegar, and then scatter the dill on top.