Neven's Christmas Menu for 2017 includes Crispy Goats' Cheese with Roasted Beetroot, Cranberries, Watercress,


Serves: 4

  • 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 ( 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Season, then cover with tin foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the beets can be pierced easily with a knife.
  6. Leave to cool, then cut into quarters and toss back into the cooking juices.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Meanwhile, arrange the watercress on plates with the cranberries and lightly dress with rapeseed oil and some lemon juice.
  11. Scatter the roasted beetroot on top with the caramelised walnuts and finish each one with a piece of crispy goats’ cheese.