There's some beautiful beetroot around right now. The inherent sweetness calls for something to balance it, such as a good, herby breakfast sausage.
Peel 650g of raw beetroot, cut into thick segments, then cut each segment in half. Do the same with 150g of carrots, but don't peel them. Peel two cloves of garlic. Fry the sliced vegetables and garlic in three tbsp of groundnut oil with the needles from three sprigs of rosemary roughly chopped, until approaching tenderness (they need to retain a little crispness). Keep the heat moderate to give the vegetables time to become fully tender.
Add 400g of good, herby butcher's sausages, each cut into three, letting them brown nicely. When the beets and carrots are tender, pour in 2 tbsp of sweetish red-wine vinegar, check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as you wish. Introduce a handful of chopped beetroot leaves towards the end of cooking. They will need two or three minute to come to tenderness. Serves 2.
You can speed things up by using cooked beetroot if you wish. Boil it, without peeling or removing more than 2cm of the stalks, in deep, lightly salted water. Alternatively, wrap them individually in foil and bake them for about 45 minutes at 200C/gas mark 6, depending on their size.
Ditch the beetroot and use butternut squash in its place. Try the recipe substituting chorizo for the breakfast sausages and potatoes for the beetroot.
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Hale and hearty: Nigel Slater's sausage and beetroot midweek dinner. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer