Sometimes the simplest combinations of a few ingredients have a surprising WOW factor. Earthy sweet beetroot, the salty tang of anchovies and the rich creaminess of a softly boiled egg together make a delicious starter, or a lunchtime treat with some crusty bread.

For 4 although this is easy to adapt for any number as quantities don’t need to be precise.

400g small beetroot scrubbed clean (you can use bought, cooked beetroot but NOT pickled ones)

4 large eggs (room temperature)

12 – 16 drained anchovy fillets (canned but marinated ones from the deli or fish counter are best)

some chives or spring onion tops finely snipped (optional)


1 tsp mustard

½ tsp sugar or honey

1 tsp cider or white wine vinegar

½ clove crushed garlic

2½ tbsp rapeseed or olive oil


1. Cook the beetroot by boiling for about 45 mins or by wrapping in foil with a splash of water and baking for about 1 hour. Cool, peel and cut into quarters or wedges.

2. Add the eggs to a pan of boiling water and cook for 6 mins. Drain, cool quickly in plenty of cold water. Peel and quarter.

3. Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a screw topped jar with salt and pepper. Put the lid on tightly and shake well. Taste and adjust if necessary.

4. You can do all the above early and assemble the dish at the last minute.

5. Lay the beetroot and eggs out on individual plates or on a platter. Season and drape with the anchovy fillets. Trickle over the dressing and sprinkle with chives if using.

If you find tinned anchovies too salty soak them in a little milk for 10 minutes.

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