Beetroot, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar
- 500g beetroot
- 3–4 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly bashed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- A couple of sprigs of thyme, plus extra thyme leaves to serve (optional)
- A couple of bay leaves (optional)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Peel the beetroot, cut into thick wedges and put into a roasting dish in which it fits snugly. Add the garlic cloves. Trickle over the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper, tuck in the thyme and bay, if using, and cover tightly with foil. Roast for about an hour until completely tender. Discard the garlic and herbs.
- Transfer the wedges to a bowl. Drain off the roasting juices into a small pan; if very reduced, add a splash of water to the dish first and stir to deglaze. Add the vinegar to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by about half. Pour this syrup back over the beetroot.
- Leave the beetroot to macerate in the dressing and cool to room temperature, turning occasionally. Season to taste.
- Arrange on serving plates. Tear the mozzarella into small chunks and add to the plates. Finish with a sprinkling of thyme leaves, if you have them, and trickle over the remaining syrup from the bowl.