You know when you make something a bit random on the offchance it’ll be nice but you don’t hold out much hope, and then it turns out to be delicious. BEST FEELING EVER.
This was such a surprise find that I didn’t take photos the first time around. I just bunged it together and when it came out tasty I scarfed the lot.
This time I have been a bit more careful so we have pictures. This is honestly one of my favourite creations.
You will need:
1 medium sized beetroot
1 small onion
180g pumpernickel bread, crumbled
1 egg beaten
25g butter plus a little extra to grease the dish
a tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease an ovenproof dish.
Peel and grate the beetroot.
- Finely chop the onion and fry in the melted butter in a covered pan over a very low heat until translucent but not browned. If they begin to brown stir and turn the heat down.
- Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly (make sure you get all the butter the onios were fried in) and transfer into the ovenproof dish.
- Cover with foil and bake until set. Remove the foil and allow the top to brown.
I serve this with roast chicken (slide a bay leaf under the chicken skin on each breast and thigh, place a quartered onion in the body cavity and salt the skin all over, roast breast down until the last twenty minutes and breast up to crisp at the end). The sharpness and subtle flavour of the stuffing aren’t overpowered by the chicken and bring out its meatiness.
Baked avocados? Baked avocados?
Oh yes. Definitely yes. Very definitely yes.
The idea for these came from the wonderful Leiths Vegetarian Bible by Polly Tyrer. Her version has garlic herb cheese in it but I am a funny bunny and don’t like cheese. No not even cream cheese. Not even marscapone. I do like garlic butter though, so I took the cooking time and temp and made a new thing.
I must confess I’d had cooked avocados before in Ethiopian stews with chicken. They were delicious but pretty much buried under the flavour of the spices and the fire of the scotch bonnets. This recipe lets them shine and shine they do. They have a flavour a little bit like artichoke but really unlike anything else. What you really notice is the fantastic texture and the very enjoyable sense of eating a genuinely decadent tasting vegetarian dish.
This is also super quick and simple to make.
I’m going to give you a per avocado recipe and you can adapt it for the number of people you have. One avocado will serve one person as a main course or two as a substantial starter.
You will need:
1 ripe but firm avocado
1 dessert spoon softened butter
1 clove garlic
1 sprig each fresh thyme, sage and rosemary
salt and black pepper to taste
Set the oven to 200C/gas mark 6
Grate the zest from the lemon. Chop the herbs very finely. Crush the garlic into a paste. Mash all of the above into the butter with a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper.
Halve the avocado, remove the stone and peel.
Smear the avocado and fill the stone hole with the butter mixture. Place the avocado face down on a baking sheet. No need too butter the sheet because as you’ll see the the avocado is well greased already and won’t stick.
Bake for ten minutes. No longer. Timing is important.
Serve with a wedge of lemon, a side salad and crusty bread. Drizzle the melted butter from the pan over the avocado.
Feel smug that deliciousness is so bloody easy.