Colour has always been one of my favourite subjects, firstly as an art student, then a designer and a cook. With colour I express feelings, communicate ideas and create associations, which become visually appealing.
For the last few years I have been using the Pantone Matching System (PMS) as a guide to create my designs and subliminally my dishes too. This system has been guiding the creative industry for the last 40 years. I love looking through the pages of coloured swatches, millions of little tiles that represent most of the existent visible spectrum. Like a dissected rainbow, beautifully printed onto glossy or matt paper and compiled into well-finished books.
Every year, Pantone launches the "colour of the year", for 2011 the "Honeysuckle" has been chosen to represent the first year of the new decade. In the words of Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute®, "In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating colour that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.” I know that January is normally the month when we bring back the diet plan to justify our Christmas excesses. As the year begins, I decided to present you with a vibrant, tasty detox, which visually plays homage to this year's new colour. Enjoy with gusto this uplifting menu, which hopefully will bring you strength to face this New Year’s challenges. Happy New Year!
Pomegranate, orange & cucumber juice
Half a cucumber
Mint to garnish
Using an electric juicer, whizz out the juice of the cucumber into a glass. Squeeze the juice out of the two oranges and the pomegranate. Mix all three juices and serve chilled, garnished with some mint leaves.
Beetroot & pumpkin soup
4 small beetroots
1 small pumpkin or a butternut squash
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
750 ml of water
Salt & pepper
Low fat plain yogurt to serve
Wash and peel the skin off the beetroots. Place them into a pan, together with the peeled and deseeded pumpkin and the garlic cloves.
In a frying pan, brown the onion with the oil. Transfer it to the vegetables pan and fill it with the water. Let it simmer on a medium heat for 30 minutes, till the vegetables are all soft. Using a hand blender, reduce the broth into a purée. Serve in bowls with a tablespoon of yoghurt.
Text by Mighel de Almeida, follow him on his blog westcoastcooking.
Photo credits: Miguel de Almeida