Neven's Christmas Menu for 2017 includes Crispy Goats' Cheese with Roasted Beetroot, Cranberries, Watercress,
- 50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tsp toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 eggs
- 50g (2oz) plain flour
- 4 x 4cm (1.in) thick slices of goats cheese (from a log with a 7.5cm (3in) diameter)
- groundnut oil, for deep-frying
- 100g (4oz) fresh watercress
- 50g (2oz) dried cranberries
- juice of 1 lemon
For the roasted beetroot:
- 675g small beetroot, scrubbed and tops trimmed (each about 75g (3oz))
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for the dressing
- Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and mix with the parsley, nuts, sesame seeds and seasoning. Beat the eggs in a separate dish and season lightly.
- Put the flour on a plate and season. Lightly coat the goats’ cheese in the seasoned flour, then dip into the beaten egg, shaking off any excess.
- Finally, coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Chill on a tray lined with parchment paper for at least 30 minutes (or overnight is fine) to firm up.
- To roast the beetroot, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Put the beetroot in a roasting tin with the thyme and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and oil.
- Season, then cover with tin foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the beets can be pierced easily with a knife.
- Leave to cool, then cut into quarters and toss back into the cooking juices.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).
- Heat the groundnut oil in a deep-sided pan or deep-fat fryer to 180°C (350°F) and cook the coated goats’ cheese for 3 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
- Drain well, then put on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and bake in the oven for another 3–4 minutes to completely heat through.
- Meanwhile, arrange the watercress on plates with the cranberries and lightly dress with rapeseed oil and some lemon juice.
- Scatter the roasted beetroot on top with the caramelised walnuts and finish each one with a piece of crispy goats’ cheese.