Crimson central – this is a dish of red, red and more red, suitable for the season of flaming gold on tree branches and misty mornings.
Beetroots and figs and pomegranate – I know, these days you can get them all the year round but where’s the enjoyment in that? Figs and pomegranates are decidedly at their best from September to December, and the cheapest too which in the case of the poms counts a lot, considering they basically serve as a bed in this dish.
Beetroots are not very joyful at any time of year anyway in spite of what clean vegans will proclaim – they are quite blatantly bland. Perhaps that’s why they get to be sold cooked and soused in vinegar – to create an impression of taste. Wrong though, beets need sweetness not just acid and cold heat of black pepper if you can’t persuade them to get along with chillies.
The combination of the three reddest fruits of all (yeah, I KNOW beet is not fruit; for the purpose of the narrative, okay?) is great to look at, not so great to prepare – the kitchen does resemble the Red Wedding scene. Don gloves and spread the paper towels everywhere – and make sure you whack the pomegranate seeds into the largest bowl you have; and over the sink.