Friday, 17 August 2012

How to love beetroot; or, a recipe

A quick recipe, as promised.

Beetroot, broad bean and feta salad.

Here is a lovely fresh summer thing, to cheer you up as the rain falls.

First, catch your beets. It really is worth getting the fresh, muddy kind. Chop the tops off, quarter them, and boil for about half an hour, or until tender. Let them cool, slip the skins off, and slice.

Take a handful of broad beans, as many as you fancy, and simmer for about six minutes. Allow these to cool also, and skin them too. The beetroot skin falls off, pleasingly, but broad bean skins are horrid, recalcitrant things. It really is worth the effort, though. Find something interesting on the wireless to distract your mind. (I find the skinning is helped by making little nips with a sharp knife in the top of the bean, and then sort of pushing the innards out with your fingers.)

Skin and slice finely half a cucumber.

Take two mint leaves, and very, very finely slice these. You want the merest ribbons.

Crumble or finely cube about a third of a slab of feta cheese.

Now arrange all the ingredients as you like, on a nice plate (I like a plain white one to show off the colours.) This salad should not be mixed, as the beetroot will bleed and make everything look like a road accident. It is best artfully assembled in layers. (I really do sound like an insane Mrs Beeton at this stage.)

Dress with some good olive oil, a scatter of sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon.

And that is it.

I always bang on about giving you brevity, and not going on and on and on. Then, when I am concise and ruthlessly short, I have angst about not having rambled about a bit. My attitude to blogging is absolutely idiotic, and there is no reason or rhyme to it.

Have a very happy Friday.


Quick pictures:

Not terribly good one of salad:

17 Aug 1

Pot table:

17 Aug 2

Thistle in Red’s field:

17 Aug 3


17 Aug 4

17 Aug 5

Red the Mare:

17 Aug 10

Very, very sweet today. I took her with as I scoured her paddock for hideous ragwort. I thought I could combine a bit of join-up work with digging for weeds. Also, it was a good opportunity to teach her to stand like a rock as I shoved my huge garden fork into the earth to get every last root.

She really did pass with flying colours. It never ceases to amaze me that she will follow my every footstep. Although sometimes she gets bored and buggers off. Then I have to get her back, reassert my leadership (ENORMOUS body language), and back we are together, like a tiny miracle in a soggy Scottish field.

The helicopters are going over all the time at the moment. I imagine it is members of the Royal Family going to visit the Duke of Edinburgh, who is in hospital in Aberdeen. In my nutty mind, I imagine Prince Charles looking down and saying: Now there’s a nice sort of horse.


17 Aug 13

Really, the beauty. Age does not wither her. And as for her infinite variety…

Cloudy hill:

17 Aug 15


  1. Hi Tania
    Really lovely photos! The salad looks delicious and I love the little terracotta pots filled with flowers.
    Thanks for sharing, I'll add you to my following list:-)

  2. Must try this. Nearly everything I cook looks like a road accident. At least this time, there will be an excuse. ;-)

    The girls look lovely.


  3. Thank you for this fresh summery salad, Tania. I only ever roasted fresh beetroot before so I am very keen on trying your new recipe. I love how you talk and write about food: it reveals a penchant for just the kind of food I like to eat and cook. Your soda bread introduced me to bread making, and still love your fried courgettes!
    I was pleased to spot in your home a few Persephone's. I adore their grey covers each with their different bookmark, and I find them ideal companions to those old lady early-to-bed nights.

    I can't think that Prince Charles would not have noticed that Red beauty down there in the field by now. Right now you are both a service to the country, her by her beauty and you by your nurturing.

    Loving thoughts from the Perigord in the grip of a serious canicule. :) Cristina X

  4. That salad sounds delicious. And I'm going to second Cristina and say that I also noticed your Persephone editions. I think they are so elegant, and I love the different fabric patterns inside each of the covers.

  5. Bed and breakfast Aberdeenshire is located Aberdeen town. We offer bed and breakfast in aberdeen, bed and breakfast in aberdeenshire, bed and breakfast Aberdeen bed and breakfast in aberdeencheap, bed and breakfast aberdeen.


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