Inspired by a beautiful little pie bought from our monthly market I recently constructed a tart made from filo pastry brushed with cumin butter and filled with sweet cooked beetroot and salty feta. I must confess all ingredients were shop bought including pre-cooked beetroot but it made for a delicious and pretty dish that looked and tasted classier that the effort required to make it would lead you to suspect. Perfect for a weekend lunch with friends and wonderful served with a deep green salad and a glass of chilled white Côtes du Luberon: Château la Canorgue Blanc 2013.

It’s good to revisit old favourites from time to time and funny to think how cooking is so susceptible to the vagaries of fashion. Was it 20 years ago that chicken livers fried and served on toast with a watercress salad seemed like the hight of sophistication? This simple recipe calls for a splash of madeira to sweeten the livers and is cooked in a matter of minutes. Cheap, delicious and quick to rustle up it is lovely when accompanied by a warming red such as Lirac: Domaine Maby La Fermade Rouge 2012.

The unseasonably warm weather has somewhat delayed winter cooking but soon we’ll be tucking into hearty dishes that require robust reds to stand up to them such as slow-cooked stews and casseroles of beef or venison perhaps flavoured with juniper, orange zest, olives or bay. Domaine Richeaume: Cuvée Tradition 2011 would be a suitably robust and rounded red to serve alongside these crowd-pleasing dishes.

By: Pippa Goldfinger.