Buffalo cheese and velvety beetroot pair beautifully in this spring salad
Buffalo milk is so rich and creamy, which means you get loads of curd, and it has an amazing flavour too
• 5 raw beetroots, tops on
• 2 litres buffalo milk
• 50ml lemon juice
• 90ml extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 baguette, cut into small chunks
• 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
• 2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
• 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves
• 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, plus extra to garnish
• 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 4 sprigs edible flowers, (optional)
• 4 sprigs dill
1 Cut the leaves from the tops of the beetroots and set aside. Place the beetroots in a saucepan half filled with water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 30–45 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool.
2 Place the buffalo milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil, without stirring.
3 When it is just about to boil, whisk in the lemon juice – you will immediately see a reaction as the milk solidifies and separates into curds and whey.
4 Carefully pour it through a sieve set over a bowl and allow to drain for 5 minutes. The longer you leave it to drain, the more solid a cheese you will get.
5 Heat a frying pan until hot, then add 50ml of the olive oil and the bread. Add the rosemary and thyme, and fry until golden brown and just crispy. Tip straight into a bowl, along with the oil from the pan and the sherry vinegar.
6 Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan, then add the cumin seeds and beetroot tops, and cook until just wilted. Add to the croutons.
7 Peel the beetroot and cut into chunks, then add to the bowl along with the tarragon, oregano, marjoram and parsley, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon onto serving plates.
8 Top with spoonfuls of the curd, a drizzle of olive oil, and the sprigs of oregano, edible flowers, if using, and dill.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from More Home Comforts