Beetroot and herb salad with soft boiled eggs

Most of the eggs that we will eat at Easter will be made of chocolate, so here’s a healthy, seasonal recipe as an antidote to all that wonderful indulgence.

Roasted beetroot has a really intense, sweet flavour but the long cooking time means it’s not ideal when you want a quick salad. To get around this problem, I usually roast double or triple what I need, all at once when I have time, like on a Saturday morning, and then use the beetroot for different dishes throughout the week, like salads and quick soups.

With some roasted beetroot in your fridge, you can make this salad as an easy lunch dish, and the eggs provide all the protein you need for one meal. I sometimes serve this with smoked eel and horseradish for an extra treat.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

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Blood orange and pomegranate margarita

Every time I cut open a blood orange, I marvel at its strange, dark beauty. The best blood oranges are grown on the volcanic plain surrounding Mount Etna in Sicily, where the soil and the fluctuation of temperature between day and night cause pigments called anthocyanins (which are high in antioxidants), to develop. So it isn’t just the evocative names of the varieties: Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello to tempt me, the fruit is a superfood too.

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The ruby red seeds of pomegranates, also cultivated in Sicily and probably introduced by the Arabs, have a high anthocyanin content due to the same blood-red pigmentation. Fortunately both of these wonderful fruit varieties overlap seasonally, so around this time of year, my fruit basket is filled with these two exotic and health giving ingredients.

 

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Eggs, a love letter: my piece in the Guardian

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

They’re the beating heart of a kitchen, the ideal bed partner for many ingredients, and breed endless possibilities for the curious cook. Yet eggs are strangely undervalued. With the launch of my book, EGG, in the U.S. it feels like the right time to give eggs the praise they deserve.

Eggs are magical things. These beautiful ovoid forms are one of the greatest gifts nature ever gave to the cook. No other ingredient can perform in such a complex way. They are simple and yet protean, indispensable but taken for granted, sometimes treated harshly and misunderstood, and yet continue to be the cornerstone of cookery.

Underneath the shell – that perfect vessel both to store and protect it – the egg gives us not one, but two ingredients: yolk and white. These parts can be separated and used either individually or together, both of which offer unique elements that perform in completely different ways. Yolks can emulsify to make thick, creamy sauces, while egg whites can be whipped into a foam and grow into great clouds. Whole eggs can be poached, fried, boiled, baked; or beaten together to give body and lightness to cakes.

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