Beetroot and peppered goat's cheese towers

Impress your guests with this show-stopping starter created by chef Gary Rhodes
Peppered Goat's Cheese Towers by Gary Rhodes
ITP Images
Peppered Goat's Cheese Towers by Gary Rhodes
January 11, 2019
Level Intermediate
Serves 4-6 (2 towers per portion)

PHOTO BY Efraim Evidor
RECIPE BY Gary Rhodes


2-3 spinneysFOOD Beetroot, cooked and sliced 60mm x 2-3mm thick circles
Peppered goat’s cheese cream (see below)
Blackberry syrup dressing (see below)
Pickled Watermelon (see below; 5-6 chunks per portion)
Walnuts, broken into chunks or pine nuts, toasted
Pink grapefruit segments, cut into pieces
spinneysFOOD Micro Greens, for garnishing
Olive oil, for drizzling
Pink grapefruit syrup (see below)
200g goat’s cheese
100g Philadelphia cream cheese
1-2 tbsp milk
Squeeze of lemon juice
spinneysFOOD Whole Black Pepper, roughly crushed, to taste

For the pink grapefruit syrup

50g spinneysFOOD Fine Caster Sugar
50ml water
Juice of 2 large pink grapefruits
1 star anise
1 stick lemon grass, finely chopped
6 pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp (approx.) loosened arrowroot or cornflour
¼ tsp grenadine, optional
spinneysFOOD Salt, to taste
spinneysFOOD Pepper, to taste

For the pickled watermelon

Seedless watermelon, diced into 1-2cm chunks
50g spinneysFOOD Fine Caster Sugar
50ml spinneysFOOD Bottled Water
100ml white vinegar

For the blackberry syrup dressing

300g blackberries, frozen
100ml spinneysFOOD Bottled Water
50g spinneysFOOD Fine Grain White Sugar
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Squeeze of lemon juice


  • 1

    To make the pickled watermelon, boil together the water, sugar and vinegar, then leave to cool. Place the diced watermelon in VacPack bags with enough liquor to coat the fruit. Seal the bags and leave to marinate for 30 minutes only, before draining; if extra marinating is needed, leave the watermelon covered in the marinade, for a further 30 minutes.

  • 2

    To prepare the blackberry syrup dressing, simmer all the ingredients together until reduced to approx. 100-150ml. Once strained return the syrup to the heat, add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and ¼ tsp of lemon juice and reduce volume by half (75ml) or until a sweet stock syrup consistency. Once at this stage remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.

  • 3

    To assemble the beetroot towers, brush the beetroot slices with the blackberry syrup dressing. Season with the salt and pepper. Place 2 slices of beetroot on each plate and pipe the goat’s cheese on top. Drizzle a few drops of blackberry syrup over the peppered goat’s cheese. Scatter the pickled watermelon, walnuts and pink grapefruit segment pieces around, draping another beetroot slice over the top of the goat’s cheese and a micro green leaf. Drizzle with a few more drops of blackberry syrup, olive oil and grapefruit syrup to finish.



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