Baked beet with cherries on ricotta cream
Aline Spetmann from Cologne founded "Alitarde“during the 2020 pandemic: a vegetarian and vegan catering. We talked to Aline about her company and her inspiration, and she introduces us to one of her summery creations.
You deliver Sunday brunch directly to the door. How did you come up with this idea?
The idea for Sunday brunch delivered to your door came about last year during the lockdown. Restaurants had closed and events were canceled. So I came up with the idea of sweetening people's at-home time a bit. It was a lot of fun and I was overwhelmed by how well the idea was received. Nevertheless, I would like to concentrate on new projects and other orders in the future and will suspend the brunch delivery for the time being.
Catering has a dusty image. Your dishes, on the other hand, are vegetarian and vegan, with regional ingredients, and can be ordered online. How have the people of Cologne accepted your offer?
The word catering has always been a thorn in my side. Unfortunately, most people associate the term with chafing dishes, gravy and market vegetables. My dishes are vegetarian, vegan and meant to be fun. I cook what I like to eat myself and apparently this strikes a chord. Meanwhile, many people explicitly ask for vegetarian or vegan food. In the meantime, there are so many creative, young chefs whose work no longer corresponds at all to the dusty image of catering. Maybe we should think about the term catering 2.0 ;)
What is behind the name „Alitarde“?
Alitarde combines my first name Aline with my social media alias Tarde Hombre. That came about over ten years ago during a stay in Spain. People there have two last names, so I thought it would be funny to make the Spanish translation Tarde Hombre out of Spetmann which is my last name.
What does sustainability mean to you in the kitchen?
For me, sustainability means first and foremost doing no harm with what I do. The vision of a world in which nature, people and animals do not suffer because of our human actions is always present in my mind. Often this vision seems very romantic to me and maybe even a bit privileged. But I see it as our duty as young entrepreneurs to work with this vision in mind and to do everything possible to create a joyful future. Specifically, in my kitchen that means abstaining entirely from meat and from many animal products, and not throwing away any food.
Do you have a favorite place?
- The French Atlantic coast
- A restaurant in Italy. Any one.
Today you present us baked beet with cherries on ricotta cream. What was the inspiration for this recipe and what do you like about it?
Beet shows me how incredibly beautiful nature can be. I'm in love with this bright color and versatile flavor. Beet perfectly combines the flavors of salty and sweet and so it is with this dish. Caramelized beet and juicy cherries meet the incredible freshness of ricotta and lemon. Simple as that, nothing more to say…
You’ll need this to make it:
- Beets (and/or yellow beet)
- Olive oil
- Dark balsamic vinegar
- A sprig of rosemary
- A handful of cherries
- Curd cheese
- One lemon
Here's how you’ll make it:
First, peel your beets and mix it with a good drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and the rosemary. Now drape the beets on a baking tray or casserole dish and cook in the oven so that it is still firm to the bite. Let the beet cool down after baking.
Meanwhile, wash the cherries, cut them in half and remove the pit.
Now, mix the ricotta with two spoonful of curd cheese, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon juice and the zest of about half a lemon.
The dish is best served on a pretty flat plate. Before, after and during the meal, a plate of fresh pasta is the perfect accompaniment for the sweet and savoury dish.