Spiced beetroot puree with crispy kale and brussel sprouts, feta and pine nuts

This is a fun dish, its great for adding colour to the table – something that we like to think about when putting a spread together. Taste, texture and colour are all equally important, bright and vibrant dishes make everything looks so much more enticing. The one meal that is hard to create colour is the traditional Christmas feast and its something we often don’t think about especially when in a rush. We were recently up in Northumberland at Lucy’s’ where her mum was in a panic as realised there was one colour at supper and that was beige – At Lucy’s request for comfort food we dined on roast chicken with roast potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower cheese, and bread sauce (it was delicious) but very beige! This dish certainly solves that problem, the bright pink from the beetroot gives that wow factor as well as adding a nice depth of flavour thanks to the roasted spice mix. If you haven’t cooked kale like this before you are in for a treat, it is so easy and so addictive, we always have to make extra otherwise we have eaten the lot before it comes to serving. The flavours really work well together, the kale and the Brussel sprouts are crispy yet juicy and soak up the puree and the feta then cuts through nicely. There are many tricks in the book for giving life to dishes if you feel they are lacking in colour, at this time of year cranberries or pomegranate seeds are great, or the old faithful chilli (use the large ones instead of the birdseye which are barely spicy at all if only using for colour). Herbs are great for giving a flash of green and making a dish feel fresher, edible flowers and wonderful and easy to order online or buy at stores like Parkway Greens in Camden. A splash of white is also nice – from perhaps feta, goats cheese or mozzarella or even a spiced yoghurt. Sweet potato or pumpkin instead of potatoes will give a bright warmth to your spread, or blood orange which is soon coming into season is wonderful in a salad, lovely paired with raw fennel.


    Serves 6 – 8


    400g Brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed and quartered

    400g kale, woody stems removed

    500g cooked beetroot

    200g crème fraiche

    glug of olive oil

    1 hot red chili

    1 garlic clove

    1 tbsp sherry vinegar

    1 tbsp maple syrup

    juice of 1 lime

    small bunch of coriander stems (keep the leaves for serving)

    100g feta

    100g pine nuts toasted

    salt and pepper


    spice mix

    2 tsp coriander seeds

    2 tsp cumin seeds

    2 star anise 


1. First make the spice mix. Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise in a small pan and heat till they are just starting to smoke, take off the heat and grind to a fine powder. 2. Make the puree – add the beetroot, crème fraiche, olive oil, chili, garlic, vinegar, maple syrup, lime, coriander stems and the spice mix to the blender and whiz till smooth, you want no lumps. Taste and season then place refrigerate till needed. 3. Heat the oven to 190c. place the kale in a large roasting tin drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 5 – 8 mins till nice and crisp, take out and leave to one side. 4. Place the Brussel sprouts on the tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes till golden. 5. When ready to serve spread the beetroot on a large platter, carefully pile the Brussel sprouts and kale in the middle, sprinkle with feta and pine nuts and the reserved coriander leaves.