This is a salad of almost raw vegetables with salad leaves and herbs. Use whatever is seasonal. The vegetables should be very thinly sliced - almost wafer thin. They should be well washed, peeled and the root vegetables left in cold water. But keep the beetroot away from everything until the very last minute.
For the salad:
4 scrubbed baby beetroot
1 bulb fennel
2 peeled carrots
Handful of fresh, podded, baby broad beans and/or peas
A large handful peppery salad leaves (rocket, watercress, mustard leaves etc)
Small bunch of mint, tarragon or marjoram
350g soft, crumbly goat’s cheese or feta
For the dressing
5 tbsp walnut oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 Make the dressing. Whisk together both oils with the vinegar and season to taste. Set aside.
2 Slice the vegetables very thinly, following the natural shape of each one. If they are very big, cut a circular slice and cut that into more manageable slices. Then plunge the sliced vegetables, each type at a time, into plenty of boiling salted water for about three seconds. Spread on to a plate to cool and sprinkle them with a little salt and lemon juice. Leave the vegetables unchilled but covered with a cloth.
3 Wash the salad leaves and herbs and dry gently. Prepare the beetroot and slice thinly as above. Blanch in boiling salted water as above and spread on to a separate plate, again sprinkled with a little salt and lemon juice. Wash your hands.
4 In a large bowl, toss the sliced vegetables in the dressing. They should be quite limp, but still colourful. Add the salad leaves and herbs and toss very gently. Arrange the beetroot slices about randomly and scatter a couple of pinches of sea salt. Top with crumbled goat’s cheese.