Beetroot bread with smoked salmon & horseradish

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BEETROOT BREAD WITH SMOKED SALMON & HORSERADISH

This cake / bread is SO good and the easiest thing in the world to make.  A great idea over Christmas as a canapé or starter. I actually came up with it because we kept being asked for canapés that were 'deliverable' ... a near impossible task if you want them to retain their quality. But smoked salmon is quite robust so I started thinking of a base for it that wouldn't go soggy.

Also, I'm far too keen on colouring food with beetroot.

I turned to google and decided Hugh Fearnley Whittingsall's recipe for Carrot & Feta Cake would be a good place to start. I swapped the raw carrot for cooked beetroot which makes it a bit moister, and replaced the dill with chives, as the flavour is stronger and the dill is better as a garnish.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

100g plain flour

100g polenta

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

200g cooked beetroot

180g feta, crumbled

A bunch of chives, chopped

3 eggs, lightly beaten

150ml milk

SmokedSalmon3

Method

Finely chop the onion, warm the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion until soft.  Add the cumin, stir for a minute, then set aside to cool.

Heat the oven to 180C.

Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper.  In the blender, whisk the eggs and the milk and add the beetroot, cooked onion and butter, feta and chives.  Add the flour mixture until just combined, and pour into the prepared tin.  We do it in a small rectangular baking tray (32cm x 22cm), as we cut them out into circles after.

Bake for about 20 minutes until it starts to come away at the edge, it's firm to the touch and a knife comes out clean.  It's delicious served warm.  If a starter, use a cookie cutter to cut into a circle and serve with smoked salmon, lemon, horseradish, dill and black pepper.  For a vegetarian option, top with crushed avocado and lime - also great with the horseradish.  It also tastes amazing with cheese (doesn't everything?) so you could do a starter with gorgonzola, roasted pear, hazelnuts and honey.

For a canape, cut into small circles and prepare in mini.  The base works cold or hot.