Ingredients

1 large golden beetroot, (you can use any colour but golden looks lovely)
2 size 7 egg whites
300g fine salt
400ml fresh crimson beetroot juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
big dollop of Massimos’s ricotta
1 teaspoon minced chives
foraged fennel pollen (optional)

Instructions

1.Heat oven to 170°C.
2.Trim the stem from the beetroot so it will sit up while cooking.
3.Loosen the egg white with a whisk and combine with the salt to make a stiff paste.
4.Using your hands, mould the paste completely around the beetroot and put onto a baking tray.
5.Bake for 1½ hours, then rest until cool enough to handle.
6.Bring the beetroot juice to the boil and strain through a fine sieve.
7.Put back into the saucepan and very gently reduce till you are left with about 50ml of beetroot juice.
8.Allow to cool slightly then stir in the olive oil to emulsify, making a very thick and intense sauce – no seasoning is required.
9.Break the beetroot from the crust – I use a hammer to gently break the crust as it sets like concrete.
10.Peel the beetroot and wipe clean of any excess salt.
11.Add a dollop of ricotta onto your serving plate and arrange the sliced beetroot attractively on top.
12.Dress the ricotta with the beetroot oil and finish with minced chives.
13.If you know of any fennel growing wild nearby, fresh fennel pollen crumbled over is a nice touch to finish the dish.

Recipes and food styling Des Harris / Photography Tony Nyberg

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