Spiced beetroot puree with crispy kale and brussel sprouts, feta and pine nuts
This is a fun dish, its great for adding colour to the table – something that we like to think about when putting a spread together. Taste, texture and colour are all equally important, bright and vibrant dishes make everything looks so much more enticing. The one meal that is hard to create colour is the traditional Christmas feast and its something we often don’t think about especially when in a rush. We were recently up in Northumberland at Lucy’s’ where her mum was in a panic as realised there was one colour at supper and that was beige – At Lucy’s request for comfort food we dined on roast chicken with roast potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower cheese, and bread sauce (it was delicious) but very beige! This dish certainly solves that problem, the bright pink from the beetroot gives that wow factor as well as adding a nice depth of flavour thanks to the roasted spice mix. If you haven’t cooked kale like this before you are in for a treat, it is so easy and so addictive, we always have to make extra otherwise we have eaten the lot before it comes to serving. The flavours really work well together, the kale and the Brussel sprouts are crispy yet juicy and soak up the puree and the feta then cuts through nicely. There are many tricks in the book for giving life to dishes if you feel they are lacking in colour, at this time of year cranberries or pomegranate seeds are great, or the old faithful chilli (use the large ones instead of the birdseye which are barely spicy at all if only using for colour). Herbs are great for giving a flash of green and making a dish feel fresher, edible flowers and wonderful and easy to order online or buy at stores like Parkway Greens in Camden. A splash of white is also nice – from perhaps feta, goats cheese or mozzarella or even a spiced yoghurt. Sweet potato or pumpkin instead of potatoes will give a bright warmth to your spread, or blood orange which is soon coming into season is wonderful in a salad, lovely paired with raw fennel.