Over the years I have become a bit of a pickled walnut addict and I really appreciate their versatility in the kitchen, as both an ingredient and an integral part of a salad dressing. Pickled walnuts are readily available in supermarkets and good delicatessens.
Try to use a mixture of coloured beets if you possibly can (there are some great old varieties popping up in farmers' markets these days), but remember to cook them separately, or they may all end up red.
1kg mixed beetroots
A handful of small salad leaves such as buckler leaf sorrel, red mustard, corn salad etc, washed and dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp of goat's curd or soft goat's cheese
For the dressing
4 pickled walnuts and 3-4tbsp of the pickling liquid
4-6tbsp rapeseed oil
Cook the beetroots in boiling salted water in their skins (separately if using different coloured ones) for about an hour until tender, then drain and leave to cool. Remove the skins, using a pair of gloves with the red ones to avoid hand stains, then cut into chunks and/or wedges.
For the dressing, chop the pickled walnuts and mix with the pickling liquor and the rapeseed oil and season.
To serve, arrange the beetroot, goat's curd or goat's cheese and the salad leaves in serving bowls or plates, season lightly and spoon over the dressing.