Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
So, my laptop broke :(. I’d been meaning to replace it for a while – it had been running insanely hot and you couldn’t even really touch the exhaust vent without getting a mild burn on your hand. I cleaned it out with a can of compressed air, closed it and then went off to have dinner. When I came back I opened it up again, only to be confronted by an error, stating that “The system has detected that a fan isn’t working and it may be unwise to continue”. Sure enough, the fan wasn’t moving at all. “Oh dear”, I thought.
Well, a bit of poking and prodding later I managed to make the fan spin into life, shooting out a cloud of dust with it. Great, except then the screen didn’t come on and I just got a flashing error light on the keyboard. Oh well; I ordered a new one, paid for extra quick shipping (it got delivered from England the next day… how’s that for speedy?!) and so finally I was back online again. One problem though – Windows 8.
I pity anyone who has to use Windows 8 on a laptop. Sure – it might be great with a mouse, or on a touch-screen, but a laptop? Moving my finger on the trackpad kept bringing up stupid menus and randomly minimising my programs. Worst of all… there wasn’t even a start button. No: Microsoft thinks we should all use their “app tray” or whatever it’s called. Horrible, horrible design. Still, after making a few changes to the Windows registry, and installing a third-party app I’ve now banished the “app tray” and “swipe gestures”, and I even have a Start button back… hooray, all is well once again!
We’re having some hot weather at the moment and when it’s so hot, the last thing you want to be doing is standing over a stove. I had a couple of beets in my refrigerator and hadn’t been quite sure about what to do with them and then I decided to do a beetroot carpaccio. Beetroot on its own might be a little boring I thought, so I bulked it out a bit with mozzarella, and even made a little salad of diced tomato, olive oil and garlic to put on top.
As I was slicing (and munching on) the beets I started to worry if the carpaccio might end up being a little bland. The beetroot wasn’t as flavoursome as I’d hoped but by the time I’d paired it with the olive oil and lemon juice I needn’t have worried. The lemon juice lifted out the beetroot flavours perfectly. Earthy, yet sweet; crunchy and rich. We ate it with some baguette I’d bought and it was a perfect, light dinner. You could serve it on its own as a starter no doubt but with the bread it fills you up very well.
Have a great day everyone and I’ll see you back here again soon!
- 2 balls of Mozzarella
- 2 medium Beetroot
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- A small handful of fresh Basil
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 4tbsps Olive Oil
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
You’ll also need
- Start off by dicing the tomatoes. Mince the garlic and then mix together with the tomatoes and half of the olive oil in a bowl. Set aside and allow the flavours to infuse while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Peel the beets and then, using your mandoline slicer, slice the them as finely as possible. Set the mandoline to the thinnest slice setting and try to get the slices about 1mm thick or less.
- Finely slice the mozzarella and then chiffonade the basil – you can do this by aligning all the leaves, rolling them up along their length and then slicing them finely to create ribbons.
- Arrange the beetroot and mozzarella between two plates – I made concentric rings of first beetroot, mozzarella, beetroot again, mozzarella and then a final centre of beetroot. Drizzle the lemon juice and remaining olive oil over the plates and sprinkle on the freshly ground black pepper and basil. Serve the tomato in the centre of the plate and enjoy! Eat with bread for a main course, or serve on its own for a starter.