This month we look at vegetables and in particular, recipes to make the most of Onions and Beetroot. Below are a few recipes with these two veg and my favourite is the omelette or tortilla as it’s called in Spain. It is very easy to do and can be eaten hot or cold. I also added Beetroot recipes to show how versatile the vegetable is! Beetroot not only brings colour to your plate, but it goes with just about anything and is very healthy. You can make it into a soup, add it to any fish dish or salad, roast it or eat it cold.   

Buen Apetito

Sweet Potato and Onion Bake

2lbs medium sized sweet potatoes

½ tsp salt

1.4 lbs onions

½ tsp white pepper

¾ cup milk

1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese

2oz flour

1oz butter

Peel Sweet Potatoes, and slice thinly. Parboil the Sweet Potatoes. Slice Onions. Grease a baking dish with butter. Put the Potatoes and Onions in alternate layers into the dish. Sprinkle between layers with a mixture of flour, salt and white pepper. Dot with butter and grated cheese and almost cover with milk. Bake in moderate oven.

Lentil and Rice Crispy Onion

1 cup Rice

1 cup dried Lentils

½ cup olive oil

2 medium Onions, thinly sliced

1 tsp cumin or more to taste (I prefer more)

2 tsp salt

Black pepper

Soak Lentils in water for 3 hours then drain. Soak rice in water for ½hr and then drain. Sauté Onions in a large skillet for about 15 minutes, or until very brown and crisp. Remove Onions onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Turn heat to medium-high and add Lentils and Rice to skillet- Sauté quickly in the browned-onion-flavoured oil, adding cumin, salt and pepper. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover very tightly and then cook on very low heat for about 20-25 minutes. To serve, fluff up Rice and Lentils and top with the crispy browned Onions

Potato and Onion Omelette 

5 eggs, beaten

1 large Potato

1 small-to-medium Onion (chopped)

4 tbsp oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Peel the Potato and cut into pieces (approximately 2cm x 2cm x .5cm or smaller in size). In a frying pan, fry the chopped Onion and then the Potato in all the olive oil on a very low heat. Add the beaten egg and salt and pepper to taste. Cook very slowly on a low heat. When cooked, flip the omelette over by gently transferring to a plate and then slide it back into the frying pan to cook the other side. Serve hot or cold.  

Chicken and Beetroot Roast

500g new potatoes, cut into wedges

250g cooked beetroot, cut into half

250g carrots peeled & cut into 2cm chunks

1 onion, cut into large pieces

3 cloves garlic, cut into fine slices

2-3 twigs of thyme

175ml white wine

4tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 chicken legs

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

In a large roasting tin, mix the potatoes, Beetroot, carrots, Onion and garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and pour over the wine. Tuck the thyme between the vegetables. Season well with salt & pepper. Season the chicken legs all over with salt and pepper and lay them on top of the vegetables. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil from the tin and return to the oven. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is golden and crisp and the vegetables are cooked through.

Beetroot Soup

500g cooked Beetroot cut into chunks

1 large Onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

750ml vegetable stock

In large saucepan, sweat the Onion gently in the olive oil until it softens (around 10 minutes). Be careful not to burn the Onions. (You are not trying to caramelize them). When the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic to the pan and gently fry for a further minute and then add the Beetroot, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Using a liquidiser or stick blender, blend the soup until really smooth.