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Mixed Beetroot & Watermelon Salad with Ricotta & Mint

Made at Daphne's | Serves 4

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250g red beetroot
250g golden beetroot
250g candy beetroot
1 small watermelon (or half a large one)
100g hard salted ricotta cheese (you can buy this in specialist Italian shops and on Ocado – link here)
12 mint leaves
1 head of red chicory (endive)
100ml balsamic vinegar
200ml extra virgin olive oil
300ml white wine vinegar
12 juniper berries
20g black peppercorns
Sea salt flakes

You have to cook the beetroots separately, because otherwise they’ll bleed into each other.  Put each different kind – whole and unpeeled – into 3 saucepans of cold water.  Add a large pinch of salt to each, and split the white wine vinegar, peppercorns and juniper berries between them and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 ½ hrs or until a small knife can easily be inserted.  Keep checking the water levels in each to ensure it’s covering the beetroot and add more cold water if necessary.

Once cooked, take the beetroots out of the liquid and peel whilst still warm.  Cut into bite sized pieces, and put them and any juice they produce into a large mixing bowl with 6 of the mint leaves.  Coat with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and mix well.

Peel the watermelon and cut into similar sized pieces to the beetroot.  Add to the beetroot and mix well.  Now put the salad onto a large serving dish and take out the mint leaves.  Top with ricotta peelings (use a potato peeler), the rest of the mint leaves, ripped leaves of chicory and a pinch of sea salt, and serve.

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