September recipes: Good Mood Food

Round & About

Ainsley Harriott shares two ideas from his newest cookbook.

Earthy beetroot works so well with salty and creamy goat’s cheese. I’ve used different coloured beetroot, which looks pretty on the plate, and cooked and raw beets for added texture, but you can stick with purple. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Roasted beetroot, candied walnut & goat’s cheese salad

Prep time: 60 minutes including marinating | Cooking time: 45-50 mins | Serves: 4

HyperFocal: 0


• Four to six medium purple beetroot, scrubbed & trimmed
• Two to four medium heritage or candy beetroot, trimmed & peeled
• 25g caster sugar
• 1tsp butter
• Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
• 60g walnut halves, toasted
• 150g goat’s cheese, crumbled
• Six to eight mint leaves, shredded a handful of lamb’s lettuce or watercress
• Zest of ½ orange
• Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

• 2 tbsp walnut oil
• 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1½ tbsp sherry/red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard/horseradish
• 2 tsp runny honey
• Zest and juice of ½ orange


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Place the purple beetroot in a roasting tin and add about a 6mm depth of water. Cover the tin tightly with foil and roast for 40–50 minutes or until tender. Leave to cool, then use your fingers (you may want to wear gloves!) or kitchen paper to rub the skins from the beetroot. Cut into wedges.

Meanwhile, cut the heritage or candy beetroot into very thin slices, using either a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Put into a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Lightly season and pour half over the raw beetroot. Leave to marinate 30 minutes while the purple beetroot is roasting.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the sugar, butter and chilli flakes in a small non-stick frying pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the butter and sugar have melted and turned golden. Stir in the walnuts for a minute until the nuts are nicely coated. Pour out on to the baking sheet and use two forks to quickly separate the nuts.

Sprinkle with a little sea salt and leave to cool completely.

To serve, arrange the marinated beetroot on a plate then pile the wedges of roasted beetroot on top. Scatter over the cheese, mint and candied walnuts and top with salad leaves. Sprinkle over orange zest, drizzle over the remaining dressing and season with a little flaky sea salt.

Blueberry & almond clafoutis with cardamom cream


• Small knob of butter
• 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 250g fresh blueberries
• Zest of one lemon
• 125ml whole milk
• 150ml double cream
• ½ tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Three large eggs
• 30g plain flour
• 40g ground almonds
• 1 tsp baking powder
• Pinch of salt

For the cardamom cream:

• 250ml double cream
• 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
• Seeds of four or five cardamon pods, crushed

Prep time: 10 minutes  | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Serving: 4-6

HyperFocal: 0


traditional French clafoutis is made with cherries but I love the unique, perfumed sweet sourness of blueberries, and they go so well with almond. The ground almonds make this slightly less custard-like than a typical clafoutis. Instead, it has more texture and flavour, like a deliciously light cake batter. Serving with a cardamom cream may sound peculiar, yet the combination of the citrusy, aromatic spice with the vanilla notes in the sweet berries really does work. I like to call this bluefoutis, but maybe that’s just me!

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease a 20cm ovenproof baking or pie dish with the butter and sprinkle with two tablespoons of caster sugar to coat the inside. Put the blueberries in the bottom of the dish and scatter over the lemon zest.

Mix together the milk, cream and almond extract.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and frothy, then stir in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Gradually pour the milk mixture on to the eggs, whisking all the time, until the batter is smooth and creamy, but being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter over the blueberries and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffy, golden and just set with a slight wobble in the middle.

Meanwhile, whisk the double cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. Fold in the cardamon until well combined. Chill until needed.

Remove the clafoutis from the oven and transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5–10 minutes. The clafoutis will deflate a little as it cools, but don’t worry! Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature, topped with a spoonful of the cardamom cream.

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