4 medium beetroot
5 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ cups puy lentils
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 bay leaf
1-2 cotechino sausages*
2 cups chicken stock
chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup fresh walnuts, toasted
100 grams goat’s cheese
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Beetroot: Scrub the beetroot; rub with olive oil and season. Wrap in tin foil and bake until tender. When cool, rub off the skin and cut into small pieces. Use disposable gloves when peeling beetroot to prevent red stained fingers.
Dressing: Whisk together and season to taste.
Lentils: Place in a saucepan with the remaining ingredients and add cold water to cover. Simmer until tender. Drain and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Stir through the dressing while the lentils are still warm.
Cotechino: Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the cotechino and poach gently for 40 minutes. The stock should only have the occasional bubble breaking the surface. If the liquid is simmering too fast, the cotechino will burst.
Remove and drain on kitchen towels.
To serve: Stir the beetroot, flat-leaf parsley and walnuts through the lentils. Crumble over half the goat’s cheese and gently combine. Slice the hot cotechino on the diagonal. Spoon the lentils onto a serving platter and scatter over the remaining goat’s cheese. Lay the cotechino on top and drizzle with a little olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Pantry Note: Cotechino are large, fresh Italian sausages contain coarse cut pork and seasoning. They are traditionally poached rather than fried. Available from specialty food stores or contact Salumeria Fontana.