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The Sessions Arts Club chef shares two recipes from her home kitchen — the first in a new series of seasonal comforts for Something Curated.

Beetroot, ricotta and walnuts

A pair of Marigolds will save your hands from being stained purple. 

Serves 4 


10 whole, small red beetroots with leaves 
3 tbsp olive oil 
2 tbsp treacle 
4 tsp runny honey 
1/4 tsp salt 
500ml water 
1⁄2 tsp caraway seeds 

400g ricotta 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
3 tsp whole milk 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

1 shallot, peeled and finely diced 
15g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped 
15g mint, roughly chopped 
20g walnut halves, toasted and roughly chopped 
2 tsp red wine vinegar
120ml extra virgin olive oil 
1⁄2 lemon zest
Sea salt freshly and ground black pepper, to taste 


Heat the oven to 200C fan (220C non-fan). 

Cover the diced shallots in the red wine vinegar for minimum of 30 minutes. 

Wash the beetroot under cold running water. Cut away the leaves, making sure you leave at least 2.5cm of stalk, and keep any nice leaves to wilt down later. 

Arrange the beetroots in a single layer in a large, deep roasting tin. Combine them with the olive oil, treacle, honey, salt and water and wrap the tray tightly with tin foil. Place into the hot oven for 40-45 minutes or until the beetroot are soft when pierced with a knife. 

Place the ricotta in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil and milk slowly, until the mixture is smooth, pillowy and thick. Season to taste, cover and set aside. 

Combine the chopped parsley and mint leaves in a pestle and mortar, pounding until you have a coarse texture. Add the extra virgin olive oil in a slow stream, pounding as you go. Stir through the walnuts, lemon zest and soaked shallots. 

Remove the beetroots from the oven and carefully pour into a large bowl, then cover with cling film (doing this while hot helps to steam off the stubborn skins.) When the beetroot are cool enough to handle, peel the skins with your fingers and discard them. Slice through any larger bulbs to retain their natural shape with root and stem intact. 

Pass the purple cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a small pan and reduce it down to a syrupy consistency over a medium heat. 

Pour the hot syrup over the beetroots and scatter over the caraway seeds. 

Spoon the ricotta onto plates and drape over the sticky beetroot bulbs and herb sauce.

Best eaten with warm sourdough bread. 

Tomato rice and roasted squash

Serves 4 


1 onion squash, weight 600g 
1 tbsp date syrup 
4 tbsp Madeira wine 
4 tbsp olive oil 
1⁄2 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper 

4 tbsp olive oil 
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed 
1 cinnamon stick 
1⁄2 banana shallot, peeled and quartered 
1⁄2 small carrot 
1 bay leaf 
1⁄4 tsp salt 
330g white basmati rice 
500g tomato passata 
660g water 
50g salted butter 
1 tsp caster sugar 


Heat the oven to 200C fan (220C non-fan). 

Cut the squash in half, scoop out and discard the central core of stringy seeds with a large tablespoon. Cut each half into four large crescent moon pieces about 6 cm thick, leaving the skin on. 

Lay the squash on a large roasting tray and combine with the date syrup, Madeira, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Place the tray into the hot oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tender with a little colour. 

Heat a wide heavy bottomed pan over a low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding the cinnamon stick, quartered onion, carrot, bay leaf, rice and salt. Stir the rice, coating the grains in the oil. Pour over the passata and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and once boiling, reduce the heat. Stirring regularly, simmer for 15-20 or until the rice is cooked through and absorbed all of the liquid. Stir through the butter and sugar. 

Spoon the hot rice between the plates and top with the roasted squash. Serve with a generous helping of yoghurt. 

Florence Knight is the head chef at Sessions Arts Club in London’s Clerkenwell. Photography by Florence Knight.

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