Ssshh, whisper it, Summer has landed. For goodness sake, don’t move too quickly or talk too loud and scare it away! Just act all casual, speak in low tones and nod a friendly ‘hello’ at it. Nice change isn’t it? All open windows and bare (pasty) limbs. Phew, we all thought it might never come.
So what to eat? I mean apart from the obvious BBQs already sizzling away in gardens all over London. Y’know, for lunch or a quick munch before you head off to play tennis or lie in the sun. Well here’s a thought or two to get you started. Grab yourself some extra thin, light-as-a-breeze-but-a-perfect-foil-for-any-topping crispbread. In my book that only means Peter’s Yard crispbreads. I like to think of PY crispbreads as a host for the delicious topping whether that be butter, cheese or something more creative. A sliver of flavoursome crispiness to carry any topping to your lips.
So, recently I was offered some PY crispbreads and asked to re-create a favourite topping. Easy peasy. I’ve a fair few toppings to share with you as I’ve been a long-time fan of Peter’s Yard crispbreads and today I’ll give you some beetroot ideas. With all this good weather in mind, the last thing you’ll want is to be in the kitchen too long. The basic beetroot base here is shamefully quick you’ll be pleased to know but, enough guff, sun is shining, time is short let’s start…
Beetroot, Feta and Walnut.
For 4 people (plenty)
250g cooked beetroot (I used vacuum packed beetroot – not as good as cooking from scratch but a heck of a lot faster!!)
3 – 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
feta cheese (100 g approx)
2-3 tablespoons walnut pieces
Start by toasting the walnuts in a dry frying pan. Be careful not to burn (no need to remove skin). When beginning to take on some colour remove from heat and allow to cool. Crush roughly with a pestle and mortar until like fine breadcrumbs but not paste.
Roughly chop up the beetroot and place in a food processor (I used the attachment to my handheld blender). Add the orange juice, the olive oil, salt and pepper and blend in pulses. The aim is to make a rough puree of the beetroot but that it still retains some texture. Add more orange juice if needed. Test for seasoning and adjust if required.
Crumble the feta.
Now build your crispbread. Smear a generous dollop of beetroot, scatter the top with feta then some crushed walnuts. Find dark corner of room to enjoy. A drop or two of olive oil over each or a dribble of orange juice intensifies the pleasure.
Alternative topping: Beetroot & Fennel.
Make a puree of the cooked beetroot as above.
Finely slice some fennel bulb into translucent slices. Chop some chives and fennel (or dill) leaves.
Smear the beetroot puree on a crispbread and top with fennel, herbs and a drizzle of orange juice.
These recipes will also appear in the new Peter’s Yard newsletter.