Tag Archives: chives

Roasted Beetroot and Feta Salad

This is a centre of the table dish, we ate it with smoked mackerel and baked sweet potatoes. In Eastern Mediterranean cuisine it would be part of a mezzesomething I will develop on as the blog evolves. I have served this dish as a starter for which it also works well.  The beetroots take quite a long time to roast off so do them when you have the oven on for a chicken or something similar as the oven needs to be quite hot. They will keep for a day or so, so you don’t have to use them straight away,  just make sure they are at least room temperature when you serve them and not fridge cold.

Ingredients (serves 4 or 6 if part of a mezze meal)

400g beetroots (three large, six medium or eight small)
125g  feta cheese (real feta is sheeps milk or goat and sheep mixed)
150g salad leaves, any salad will do it – rocket and watercress works well
35g herbs, I have used chives but any soft herb will do the job
1 small teaspoon of honey
Olive oil
Black balsamic
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon

Method

Wash and scrub the beetroots and trim up with a small knife. Cut into wedges and put in a bowl. Toss them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them onto a paper lined baking tray and roast at 200 degrees for about an hour.  Give them a good shake after 30 mins then after an hour take out of the oven. Put them back in the bowl and toss them in the balsamic vinegar. Leave them to cool down.

When you are ready to serve take a plater and cover the surface with the salad. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Scatter the beetroots evenly over the salad. Crumble the feta over that, then dip a teaspoon into the honey and swirl the spoon over the plate, you don’t want to put too much on. Finish off with the chopped herbs.

Holy Moly Guacomole

Guacomole

There are many different ways to make guacamole.  This is by far the most popular version that I have arrived at.  By losing the raw garlic and onion as used in most other recipes, you reconnect with the dreaminess and subtly  of creamed avocado.  If you can’t get coriander then you can use mint or basil. You can also lose the tomato and you don’t have to peel it. I have only just started to peel the tomato (see  tips) as a matter of detail, but you must remove the seeds. Take time to cut the tomato and chilli.  You can achieve a certain level of knife skills and these are classic ways to practice. Keep the cuts even and the same size.

Not only the best fruit source of Vitamin E, avocados (despite being green) contain a wide variety of carotenoids. So as well as being delicious they are a powerhouse of the nutrients that help keep our cells young and our bodies cancer-free.

Ingredients

250g ripe avocado skinned and stoned
8g coriander
1 juicy lime
8g chives
1 red chili de-seeded and cut into small squares
1 tomato (skinned and de-seeded, optional)
1/4 teaspoon of Maldon sea-salt
50ml olive oil

Method

Remove the stone and scoop out the avocado flesh from the skin and put into a bowl. Skin, de-seed and cut the tomato into small squares. Finely chop the chives and coriander, squeeze the lime,  then add the olive oil and other ingredients to the mix. Preferably use a glass or plastic bowl and a silicon spatula or a wooden spoon (Not using metal slows down the oxidization process which happens quickly with avocados)

Gently start breaking up the avocado by gently mashing the bigger pieces down. Then gently keep turning the mix over, breaking down and turning. It will start coming together and going creamy. Taste for seasoning when you have the required consistency,  I like it to have some texture and not be completely smooth.