Sitting down to lunch or dinner may not feel like an act of environmental destruction, yet the simple truth is that all that eating isn’t doing our planet any favours. Vast quantities of water, chemicals, fuel and other resources are splurged on food production and transport; to make things worse, a large percentage of the edible food we produce is wasted and ends up rotting in landfills giving off methane gases that further harm the environment.
The solution to this is simple: eat locally produced, chemical-free food and don’t waste anything, just like our grandparents did.
If we really want to live more sustainably, it’s time to start making better food choices and it basically starts with the holy trinity of local, seasonal & organic.
The menus in our restaurant are based on a simple philosophy: food tastes best when it’s made from local, seasonal ingredients, some of them grown on our own farm. Only when you understand and respect the essence of an ingredient can you properly come to enhance its flavour through cooking. Guided by nature, our kitchen will reflect the seasons. Thinking globally and sourcing locally is not just politically correct; it’s also personally rewarding for the farmer, the chef and the diner. Everybody wins.
Cooking food you’ve grown and sharing it with family and friends is an emotional and creative thing to do and there’s never been a better time to start to grow your own vegetables. We are starting the process for our restaurant by creating our own vegetable and herb garden at the beautiful Son Mir finca and while it’s still early days, we hope that very soon our garden will be supplying many of the herbs and vegetables that you’ll find on your plate at Marc Fosh restaurant this season.
There is definitely a trend for more vegetable based menus and a reliance on locally sourced products. We recently introduced a vegetarian tasting menu at the restaurant and it has proved to be extremely popular with everyone who has tried it, not only vegetarians. One of the favourite dishes is our Salt baked beetroot tartare with wild fennel pollen, redcurrants and avocado. We also serve it with a chilled beetroot gazpacho and it’s quite a complex dish. Baking a vegetable like beetroot in a salt crust really intensifies the flavour and it’s such an easy thing to do at home. This week’s recipe has a classic combination of salt-baked beetroot with feta cheese and walnuts with the addition of smoked aubergine. Very simple buy simply delicious!
Salt-baked beetroot, smoked aubergine, feta cheese and walnuts
Ingredients serves 4
4 medium sized beetroots, washed
½ orange, juiced
2tbsp olive oil
100g walnuts, lightly toasted and crushed
50ml sherry vinegar
1 tsp English mustard
130g feta, crumbled
2 bunches of rocket leaves
For the salt crust:
500g plain flour
2 large egg whites
4 rosemary sprigs
First, make the salt crust. Blitz the rosemary and salt in a food processor, and then add the flour and egg whites with 200ml water. Blitz again to bring together. Tip the mixture onto a clean surface and knead for 5 mins to form a smooth ball, (add a little flour if necessary) then wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.
Heat oven to 160C/ gas 4. Roll the dough out to the thickness of a 2cm and wrap the beetroots in the pastry. Make sure they are well sealed and bake on a tray for 2 1/2 hrs.
Remove the beetroots from the oven and leave in the salt crust until cool enough to handle. Open the salt crust with your hands and discard. Peel the beetroot, cut into wedges and drizzle with a little olive oil.
To make the smoked aubergine, burn the aubergine over a naked gas or BBQ flame, so the skin starts to blister and char. (Or do this under a grill on high, turning every few minutes.) Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes so the aubergine dries out and crisps, losing all its sponginess. Leave to cool, then roughly chop the whole aubergine and place in a food processor. Add the sherry vinegar, mustard and season. Blend to a thick puree.
To serve, place 2 large spoonfuls of smoked aubergines on each plate. Add the dressed beetroot wedges and rocket leaves. Finish with toasted walnuts crumbled feta cheese on top.
Tomato, quinoa & pomegranate salad with creamy goat cheese and goji berry dressing
Prep time: 20 mins
No cooking time.
Ingredients serves 6
450g cherry tomatoes (a mixture of colours also looks really nice)
2 small shallots, sliced very finely lengthways
150g cooked quinoa
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 fresh mint leaves
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them into a bowl. Add the finely sliced shallots, quinoa, the white balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, honey and olive oil. Season and mix well. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately with creamy goats cheese & goji berry dressing.
Creamy goat cheese and goji berry dressing
180g fresh goat cheese
150g goji berries
100ml natural yogurt
1tbsp Sherry Vinegar
3tbsp olive oil
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Season to taste.
By Marc Fosh – Michelin Star Chef