Every dish needs a pink ingredient in January. A bright pink to lift the spirits in a month where the days are still too short and overcast, gunmetal skies hang low like a wet blanket smothering the earth in a cold embrace. Pink to inject colour into culinary life when lockdown feels like it is never going to end and spring seems like an eternity away.
Sweet, earthy beetroot mixed with horseradish to sharpen the senses and sting the nose ever so slightly. Salty, smoked mackerel and quarters of creamy, slightly over boiled egg topped with a sprig of peppery watercress. This combo has been lifting my spirits.
After a big urban walk around as many local parks that I can weave my way through, I reward myself by putting these ingredients together on two slivers of soda bread and slopping down on the sofa with a mug of tea and a magazine. It’s the small things. And the pink things. And that’s what I am holding on to.
Finely grate a medium sized beetroot into a bowl and mix with a teaspoon (more or less depending on your taste) of grated horseradish.
Boil two eggs. Six – seven minutes for a runny yolk.
Take two slices of soda bread (or sourdough or rye) and spread with the beetroot mix. Top with roughly flaked smoked mackerel and top with boiled egg sliced into quarters. Top with a sprig of watercress.