a subtle beauty: beetroot rosti with smoked salmon

It’s David’s birthday in a minute and we kicked off the celebrations last night by having supper with friends. This gino d’acampo recipe for beetroot rosti with smoked salmon and horseradish cream was absolutely wonderful and, if you’re still planning your festive menus and need a starter, this would be perfect.

Making rosti and keeping them together while you cook them can be tricky. A friend told me that the secret of his success is to use a metal ring to press the uncooked mix into – this helps it keep its shape and means you can press it together tightly so it holds its shape. I didn’t have any rings so pressed mine into a ramekin and then inverted it to carefully remove the rosti.

My tip is to use a proper non-stick frying pan. my non-stick pan isn’t big enough to do all the ones i needed for last night, so I made do with a normal pan. The end result was okay but the one pictured above, which was cooked for my brunch this morning in the non-stick pan, was much easier to control.

Make sure you get decent smoked salmon too – i used waitrose’s organic orkney salmon which recently won a taste-test in the ofm magazine.

gino d’acampo’s beetroot rosti with smoked salmon and horseradish cream (serves 4)

2 medium potatoes, unpeeled, about 450g

1 raw beetroot, about 200g, peeled and coarsely grated

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 slices smoked salmon

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

for the horseradish cream:

125g mascarpone (i used low-fat crème fraiche)

juice of ½ a lime

2 tablspoons creamed horseradish sauce

dill to garnish

pot the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. cook for 12 minutes (if you just have 1 large potato cook it for a few minutes more) then drain and leave to cool.

peel the cooled potatoes and grate into a large bowl. add the grated beetroot and garlic, seaon and mix well. divide and shape into 4 patties. leave to chill in the fridge for an hour (or overnight is okay).

meanwhile, to make the horseradish cream, mix the mascarpone, lime juice and creamed horseradish in a bowl. season with a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

heat the oil in a large (non-stick!) frying pan and cook the rostis for 3-5 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. take care not to burn the beetroot. remove and drain on kitchen paper. place a hot rosti on each serving plate and top with a slice of smoked salmon, a dollop of horseradish cream and a sprig of dill. put a wedge of lime on the side and serve.