Flying Cucumber For January

26.01.2017 | by Gracie George


Flying Cucumber For January

Some time ago I mis-spoke when Anna (in my office) said she  has seen a beautiful flying Kingfisher and I replied "yes, I saw a flying cumcumber too" WHAT!  Where did that come from?!!! We dissolved in laughter so now these missives are going to be called "Flying Cucumbers"

To Begin!


A tasty recipe from Anna Fletcher one of our consultant's, who you should know as she is a graduate of Ballymaloe; that greatest of great cookery schools.

Warm Beetroot, Chorizo and Pear Salad

Beetroot, that explosion of colour on your plate that just demands your attention! January sees this vegetable arrive in abundance. There are a multitude of superb beetroot recipes out there, below is a recipe I adore, adapted from a recipe by Sarah Cook (quite an apt name!), it is such a comfort on a chilly January evening without being too calorific. It serves four but I find it can work as a starter for six.


1kg mixed beetroots (not too big)

200g Chorizo, skinned and thickly sliced

100g blanched almonds

1 Large pear

2 tbsp Membrillo (quince paste)

2 tbsp Sherry vinegar

1 tbsp Lemon juice

1 tbsp Extra virgin oil


To begin, put the beets in a large pan of water (if you have a mix of colours, cook in a seperate pans as the colours will bleed) and bring the water to boil, cover and leave to simmer for about 20-40 mins depending on size of the beets.  Use a skewer or small sharp knife to check that they are tender in the centre (try not to poke them or they will bleed all thier juices into the water).

Drain the beets and leave to cool in a colander.  When cool enough to handle, peel away the skins, roots and stalks then roughly chop or slice the beets.

Put the chorizo in a cold frying pan and fry over a meduim heat until crisp - you should collect lots of oil in the pan.  Lift out the chorizo with a slotted spoon and keep warm.  Tip in the almonds and fry quickly until just turining brown on edges.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to dry.

To make the dressing-melt the membrillo in a pan with the chorizo oil, Sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix in the olive oil and season.

Core and thinly slice the pear, toss with a little lemon juice to stop it browning, then arrange on a platter with the beets, Chorizo and almonds. Toss together with the dressing if you like, or serve the dressing on the side. Sprinkle over the parsley and Manchego and serve immediately.

Seasonal Selection

Despite the frosty weather we are so lucky to have a plentyful supply of wonderful fresh produce at our finger tips.  I have listed below a selection of what's in season now.


Fish: Whitebait, Bream, Halibut and Crab.

Poultry & Game: Patridge, Pigeon, Woodcock and Snipe.

Fruit: Apples, Figs and Chestnuts.

Vegetable: Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Parsnips and Turnips.

See Anna's recipe for a tasty way to use Beetroot!

Keep in touch by posting pics of your seasonal creations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Elizabeth Jones - Housekeeping Tips

Each month I will delve into the archives to bring you handy household tips and ideas for the home and garden.

Put candles in the freezer before using them, they will last much longer.

Keep brown sugar soft once opened by storing a couple of marshmallows in the bag.