Beetroot and Kale Risotto with Feta Cheese
By Cooking with Kale author Rena Patten.
200g green Sicilian olives
Blended oil (95% canola and 5% extra virgin)
6 long red chillies
2 garlic bulbs
200mL extra virgin olive oil
2 head of witlof (chicory)
12 baby golden beetroot, trimmed
12 baby purple beetroot, trimmed
600g rock salt
200g feta cheese
20mL balsamic vinegar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
135g stuffed olives
100g smoked pecans
300g watercress, pickled
Extra virgin olive oil
Carefully pit the olives so you can stuff them later. If they’re too hard, warm them over a low heat in a small saucepan with enough blended oil to cover them. Cook gently for about 15-20 minutes, or just enough to soften them. Keep the oil to store the olives in later.
Barbeque the chillies until blackened all over then place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to steam and cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel, de-seed and chop them. Stuff the chillies inside the olives then place them in a jar and pour in enough of their cooking oil to cover them completely.
Seal and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Get your barbeque going and place the garlic bulbs directly onto the hot coals, turning occasionally until black on the outside (this should take about 5-8 minutes).
Place the charred bulbs in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to steam and cool.
Once cool enough to handle, peel away the charred garlic skins and retrieve each clove, carefully placing them in a small saucepan with the extra virgin olive oil. Place over a very low heat and gently cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
Remove the pan from the heat and keep the garlic in the oil until ready to dish up.
Halve the witlofs by cutting down the centre of each head. Grill over the hot coals for about 5-10 minutes, or until dark all over. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350 F/Gas 4) and place the beetroot on a bed of rock salt in a roasting tin, cover with foil and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked (when a skewer passes through them easily).
Remove the beetroot, allow to cool for 10 minutes then pull off the foil. Remove and discard the stems and peel the beetroot while they’re still warm, keeping the two colours in separate bowls. Their skins should slip off with ease.
Remove the cooled witlof core with a knife, trying to keep it in one piece, then discard it. Place the witlof on a serving platter, spreading out their leaves, then spoon the feta cheese over them in a few spots.
Dress the purple beetroot with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Season the golden beetroot with salt and pepper. Slice or cut some of the larger beets into wedges if you like, then scatter them around the platter with the olives and pecans.
Carefully remove the confit garlic from the oil and place around the platter. Quickly dress the watercress with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, then place it over the beetroot and finish with a final crack of black pepper.