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Beet the mid-winter blues

Oh my! The range of fabrics from The Whimsical Duchess is just glorious. Custom made, printed fabrics in tablecloths, cushion covers, tea towels or sold by the metre … brilliant for a statement sofa, a bed throw, a picnic blanket. There’s natural linen and cotton canvas, bull denim and mock linen and plush velvet too, with prices per metre from around R650. This Roots of Magenta is one of our favourites. Details: thewhimsicalduchess.co.za

Warm beetroot and butternut winter salad

Butternut. Beet. Goat’s cheese. A marriage made in foodie heaven. This recipe was generously shared by a chef at the De Hoop Collection in the De Hoop Reserve, just east of Cape Agulhas, on a visit a year or two ago, and we’ve made it again and again and again. It’s a method, more than a recipe, so we’ve given no quantities … jiggle depending on how many you’re feeding. The dressing is enough for a salad for four to six people.

Peel butternut and beets, cut into large, similar size chunks, toss lightly in olive oil and roast until cooked. While roasting, make the dressing. Into a small bowl, put half a cup of Mrs Ball’s chutney, add a good shake of chilli flakes, three generous tablespoons of honey, a handful of chopped spring onions, salt and freshly ground black pepper and enough olive oil to blend (about quarter of a cup).

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Pile some fresh rocket on a plate, then scatter the warm, baked butternut and beets over the top. Pour over the  dressing, then top with dollops of goat’s cheese. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Top tip: Ring the changes to suit your taste. Feta works as well as goat’s cheese, roasted walnuts can replace pine nuts, leave off the rocket if you want to serve it as a vegetable side dish instead  of a salad.

These Babylonstoren Beetroot & Garlic Salt Flakes add extra flavour and a pop of colour to even the most simple dish. The beetroot stains the salt a beautiful pink colour and gives it a delicate, earthy flavour, while the garlic gives the mixture some punch. R70 from babylonstoren.com

A lovely spicy Shiraz is a slam dunk for winter beets

Cooler weather calls for hearty root vegetables and succulent meat dishes. And those, in turn, call for a spicy Shiraz. Tokara Chef Carolize Coetzee has shared the recipe for her flavourful salt-baked beetroot, which is perfectly paired with the estate’s full-bodied premium Tokara Shiraz.

This full-bodied Tokara Shiraz is available at a cellar door price of R125,  for online purchase and delivery. Details: tokara.com

Salt-baked beetroot

You’ll need:

4 medium sized whole beetroot; 800g coarse salt; 3 egg whites from extra-large eggs; 500g cake flour; 250ml water

For the garnish: Raspberries, fennel, toasted walnuts and celery.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Blend the salt and flour together in a food processor until fine. In a mixer with a dough hook, mix the flour mixture with the egg whites and water until a dough is formed.

Wash and dry the unpeeled beetroot.

Roll out the dough until 5mm in thickness. Cut into big enough pieces and wrap around each entire beetroot.

Bake for 1 hour, then remove from oven and cool slightly. Break open the dough and remove the beetroot. Discard the baked dough.

Peel the beetroot, then rinse and dry with paper towel. Cool and slice the beetroot thinly. Garnish with raspberry, fennel, toasted walnuts and celery.

 

A glass of red. A platter of cheeses – including a creamy blue. A bottle of Woolworths’ Beetroot & Fig Preserve. Life is good. R52.99 from Woolies.

Good for you granola. This Raw Goji Berry & Beetroot Granola has no preservatives or added sugar, is a great source of fibre and is made from certified organic ingredients. R49.99 from Woolworths.

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