If it’s a little libido boost you (or he) need this Valentines, forget oysters and ditch the strawberries. Instead, turn your focus to the humble beetroot.
According to research, this root vegetable is ‘rich in nitrates, a naturally found inorganic element present in air, water and certain foods. Consumption of beetroot helps one suffering from low libido or erectile dysfunction to increase the levels of nitric oxide in the body which boosts sexual health’.
The nitrates your body creates when eating it, help to boost blood flow and regular consumption is reported to improve the circulation to your genitals. For men particularly, this can help with both getting and maintaining an erection. For women, it makes becoming aroused easier and encourages easier orgasms.
In other words, it’s a win-win!
You can drink it as a juice, but in case that’s a little dull, our chef Miranda has whipped up this sweet, sour and tasty treat. Use a toasted sourdough for the perfect Valentines starter!
The fat from the emulsion will naturally take on the fruitiness of the pepper complimenting the bite of the watercress, and the sweetness of the beetroot.
- I kg of organic or Heritage beetroot
- 300g White wine Vinegar
- 200g Golden Caster sugar
- 2 Fresh Bay leaves
- 2 shallots
- 1 whole dried chilli
- 2-star anise
- 3 cloves
- 3 Allspice berries
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp Tellicherry peppercorns
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- If you have freshly picked beetroot trim the leaves and stalk. (Tip: wash and save these leaves to include in a salad later)
- Wrap each beet in of foil and place on a baking tray. Roast for 60 minutes until soft.
- Peel the beetroot (you may want to use gloves for this!). Cut into roughly equal pieces then place them into sterilised jars.
- Peel and thinly slice the Shallot
- Combine the sugar, white wine vinegar with 200ml cold water along with spices, and bay leaves chilli and shallot. Place into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the beetroot (You can save any extra liquid for a salad dressing adding a little olive oil) and leave to cool with the lid off.
- Once cool seal the jar and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Watercress whipped butter with pepper
1 bunch of watercress
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
150g softened unsalted organic butter
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
- Bring a pan of water to boil then place the bunches of watercress and parsley into the pan until the leaves soften and wilt.
- Remove from pan and place in a bowl of cold water then drain off and squeeze out any excess water
- In a food processor put the chilled leaves, butter and olive oil
- Blitz on a high speed until all of the ingredients are blended together
- Season to taste
Putting it together
Using lightly toasted sourdough bread scrape the whipped butter over the bread then top with pickle and a generous grind of pepper then serve with some beetroot leaves saved from preparation!