Today, I have been lucky enough to receive 1 bunch of red baby beetroots and 1 bunch of golden baby beetroots. Receiving fresh products is always a joy and an excitement. A multitude of  ideas are coming and the desire to realise a stunning dish is priceless.

So, after a few minutes thinking how I could use the all part of the beetroots, I finally came up with an idea. The most important for me, was not to waste any parts of the beetroot. Leaves were green, crunchy and appetising. Stems were colourful, juicy and crunchy too. Beets are one of my favourite vegetables. From root to leaf, the greens and stems are edible, it means that the options to make different dishes with beetroots are countless.Below I will explain to you my favourite ways to cook and plate beetroot, using the whole vegetable. Heaven on a plate for everyone in love with beets and vegetables.

Start trimming the leaves and stems to the beetroots. Wash everything separately. To roast the beets, cut two pieces of foil (one for the red, one for the golden beets), add a splash of olive, salt, pepper and one garlic clove in each. Make a little parcel and roast them in an oven turned to 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes with a splash of water on the bottom of the tray to create a steam environment. The beets will cook faster. When cooked, open the foil and start to take the skin off the beetroot. Do this by using a paper towel to wipe the skin off. (Don’t forget to wear a pair of gloves, if you have some at home and don’t burn yourself!)

Meanwhile, finely chop the beetroot stalks. Shred large beetroot leaves and reserve the small beetroot leaves to garnish.

Heat oil in a medium sized pan over a high heat. Add 2 diced shallots, 2 garlic cloves grated and some spices (I recommend a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of All Spice). Cook, stirring continuously until softened. Stir in the chopped beetroot stalk and shredded leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stalk begins to soften. Add a tablespoon of chopped dill and lemon juice, and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl. From earthy and crunchy to sweet and tender, this salad is sublime for anyone loving beetroots.

PS: Leaves and stalks are nutritious. High in fiber and minerals, beet stems contain betalain pigments, a powerful source of antioxidants good for reducing inflammation and preventing heart disease.


Caesar Salad

Cooking a great meal in a few minutes is easily reachable. Most of the time I can hear ” I am not a chef”! Cooking is about skills, of course, and organisation. “Organisation” is the magic word in a professional kitchen.”Be organised, get ready!” I will remember those words forever and actually  I am doing the same at home! Sunny days are coming and obviously no one wants to be in a kitchen spending hours cooking dinner. So, today, a quick and easy recipe to be enjoyed this evening with a great glass of Pinot Grigio. The acidity of the Pinot Grigio will cut through the rich and creamy Caesar salad dressing, which makes each bite taste fresher.

Usually, I like making this salad the day after I have roasted a chicken. There is always some chicken lefty over, not enough to cook a meal but surely enough to make a salad. A piece of bread is always available at home so here it goes. One more tip, keep the carcass to make a quick stock, you can use this stock to cook a risotto or to make a broth.

Ingredients: 4 grated garlic cloves; 4 chopped anchovy fillets; 2 tbsp squeezed lemon juice; 1 tsp Dijon mustard; 2 egg yolks; 330 ml vegetable oil; 50g grated Parmesan; Salt-Pepper; 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce; 3 baby gem; 1 chicken breast; 1 chicken leg (Ideally from leftovers of a roasted chicken); a piece of stale sourdough.

Method: Whisk together the 2 egg yolks, Dijon Mustard, grated garlic and chopped anchovies. Then, add slowly the 330 ml of vegetable oil until a smooth mayonnaise texture. Add the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning. You might think that the dressing will need more lemon juice or salt,…Wash your baby gem and keep it on the side. Pick the roasted chicken in  small chunks. Dice roughly the sourdough and roast it in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius with some oil and salt until golden brown. In a salad bowl, mix the baby gem and two thirds of the Caesar dressing. Mix the chicken with the Caesar dressing remaining. Plate the salad in a bowl/plate by using first the baby gem and by topping the salad with the chicken and the croutons. Grate a bit more Parmesan on top of it. Who doesn’t like Parmesan!

Notes: The dressing will keep well in the fridge for 3 days.  This is a great way to use any roasted chicken leftovers easy and fast. A 10 minute meal!