¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon neutral oil
24 baby beets (2–3cm in size), washed, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
½ medium-sized white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup milk, plus a little extra
125g cream cheese (I use Philadelphia)
350g creamy feta (I use Zany Zeus)
15g nanami togarashi seven spice powder

This recipe has aspects of sweet, spicy and salty, that’s why it’s close to my heart. It reminds me of me. You can simply skewer the beets or use forks for dipping, or truss the stems tightly for a bit of showmanship.

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1.Place the vinegar and sugar in a small pan and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
2.Remove from heat and add the oil.
3.Put the baby beets onto a lined baking tray and brush with vinegar and sugar syrup.
4.Put into a preheated oven at 160°C and bake for 40 minutes.
5.Brush with remaining vinegar and sugar syrup every 10 minutes.
6.While the beets are cooking, melt the butter in a medium-sized pot and sweat the onions and garlic for 7–8 minutes until translucent and tender.
7.Add the milk and cream cheese and stir regularly on a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until the cream cheese is fully melted.
8.Crumble in the feta and continue to stir regularly for 4–5 minutes until completely melted.
9.Continue cooking until large bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pot.
10.Remove from heat, blend with an immersion blender for 2 minutes and pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
11.Remove the beets from the oven and, while still hot, sprinkle with togarashi powder.
12.Reheat the fondue and check the consistency. Depending on the cheeses used it may require extra milk to achieve a silken texture.
13.Serve the fondue in a traditional fondue pot if you have one, or in a warmed heatproof bowl with the spiced beets alongside.

Food styling, recipes & photography David Neville