Tag Archives: raw food

Beetroot carpaccio

18 Dec

So vegetarian Christmas, eh? Little bit lame, little bit not-so-special, little bit ‘where’s the nut roast’? No, say we. No. Man Woman refuses to eat nut roast, we will not partake in tofurky and we will not be scaling down to pasta.

The ceremony of making ham over hours and stuffing turkeys, actually I’m quite jealous of all that. So this year, our first Christmas staying put in the U of K, we’ve decided to go all out, and go traditional. But not traditional at all, you know. Still, however, in the tradition of tradition in a way. Point is, there is some traditional ingredients and concepts, but an absence of animal parts and their sad vegetarian imitations.

We decided to test the limits of this concept at a recent dinner party (I say dinner ‘party’ but our tiny flat allows us to squeeze just two other people in). At an earlier ‘party’ we’d drunkenly vowed to prepare our guests a Nordic/Finnish feast. There being about 14 actual vegetarian recipes (which are not baked goods) in the now fashionable Finnish repetoire, we realised it’d have to be Finnish in spirit, if not quite yet in reality.

So, thought we, let’s break this down to its elements. Finns like beetroot. Finns like dill. Finns like preserving things in salt.  Beetroot and dill carpaccio was the only logical evolution of these three facts.

This dish, which was served as a part of a starter (recipe soon to follow), would be great as part of a Christmas feast or as a side to creamy or heavy dishes as it’s nice and sharp. Northern European ‘tapas’ anyone? While this time of year up in this hemisphere can mean loads of heavy foods and root vegetables with which Man Woman are still largely unfamiliar with and unsympathetic to, this is a nice way to introduce some seasonal rooty freshness. But also, for our friends back in summertime, this totally works for hot weather too. You can tell it’s Christmas ’cause everybody wins.

So this carpaccio was kinda in homage to the Nordic habit of gravalax and also looked a whole lot like smoked reindeer meat while being notably less gamey. Bonus!

Beetroot carpaccio with horseradish and dill (serves 4 as side)

  • 1/2 large beetroot
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 2-3 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP grated horseradish (we used one from a jar – use less if using fresh horseradish)
  • 4 tsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Slice the beetroot as finely as possible. If you can manage to get a full cross-section, congrats, you’ve been keeping your knives well and you deserve a gold star. Otherwise, shavings (think ham!) are fine too.

Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and adjust to taste. It should be very acidic.

Lay the beetroot in a shallow dish and cover with the lemon mix. It may be almost like a paste, but so long as you smear and toss it through all the beetroot it’ll be fine.

Chill in the fridge for at least ten minutes.

Estimated cost: £1.20

Musical accompaniment: She and Him, Christmas Album

Partly-pickled paprika-spiced celery and red onion

14 Dec

This light little half-pickle was the result of a specific request for celery from a dinner guest. Man Woman doesn’t do celery, usually, unless it’s sticking out of a bloody Mary. So we had to get creative. This is half-salad, half-pickle, really, and makes a nice little side dish to heavier foods – perfect, in fact, as a Christmas side if you live in warmer climes or, indeed, if you need a break from the Stilton and potatoes in cooler ones.

 

The almost pickle

  • 2.5 – 3 sticks of celery, very thinly sliced (no more than 2mm)
  • 1/2 medium red onion very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced to fit in)
  • 2 TBSP aged sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp hot sweet paprika
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • cracked pepper

Mix all ingredients. Feel free to eat immediately or let steep in fridge for a few hours. When adding paprika, put half the amount you imagine it needs at first and then adjust – paprika can have a tipping point which could spell ruin for this dish.

Makes a nice accompaniment to rich, Spanish type dishes like Romesco-baked eggplant.

Estimated cost: 70p

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