Crisp toasted French bread is spread with a rich red onion marmalade flavoured with balsamic vinegar and rosemary, then topped with creamy goat's cheese and finished under the grill. Served with a beetroot, pepper and lamb's lettuce salad, this makes an impressive starter.
Try baby spinach or baby red chard leaves in place of lamb's lettuce. * Instead of onion marmalade, rub the slices of toasted French bread with 1 cut garlic clove, then spread with 4 tsp sun-dried tomato paste. Top with the goat's cheese and grill. Serve with a salad made from 1 small Oak Leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces, 225 g (8 oz) halved cherry tomatoes and 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips, tossed in a dressing made with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste and seasoning to taste. Garnish the toasts with fresh basil leaves. * Top the toast slices with goat's cheese and add a drizzle of walnut or hazelnut oil (omit the onion marmalade and rosemary). Grill, then serve on a bed of mixed green salad leaves tossed with toasted walnuts or hazelnuts and a vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil and a little walnut or hazelnut oil.
Beetroot is a good source of folate, which is needed during the early stages of pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida. It is also rich in potassium, a good intake of which can help to balance out the adverse effect of a high salt intake on blood pressure. The leafy tops of beetroot can be cooked and served like spinach. * Red onions have been shown to contain higher levels of flavonoids – compounds that may help to protect against heart disease – than white onions.
A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, niacin * B2, folate * calcium, selenium