Chicken Livers with Beetroot Walnut Salad Picture: Craig Fraser

Celebrity chef and father of two, Reuben Riffel talks about the food memories he shares with his father and grandfather. 

This Chicken Livers with Beetroot Walnut Salad is from his book, Reuben at Home published by Quvertree Publications.

"I always associate chicken livers with my pa. Chicken livers were one of the five dishes in his cooking repertoire. My recipe is slightly different to his, which consisted of onion and chilli, but the basics are the same because any chicken liver dish is always about the liver," Riffel says in his book.  

Serves 4

300g chicken livers, cleaned of all membranes

olive oil

1 tablespoon peri-peri sauce 

(see recipe below)

½ cup cream

salt and pepper

2 cups spinach

bread rolls and butter, for serving


4 tablespoons Rosendal vinegar

(or any good aged vinegar)

¼ cup olive oil

salt and pepper

150g baby beetroots, cooked

½ cup walnuts

Peri-peri sauce:

½ cup canola oil

250g chopped onion

2kg red chillies, seeds removed, chopped

3kg red peppers, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted

1 tablespoon paprika


Fry the chicken livers in a hot pan with ¼ cup olive oil.

Add peri-peri sauce and cook for a minute.

Add the cream and cook until it starts to thicken, then season to taste.

Make a salad dressing by combining vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper.

Toss it through the beetroots, and top with walnuts.

Flash-fry spinach in a splash of olive oil and add salt.

Top the livers with spinach, and serve with the salad and bread rolls and butter.

To make the peri-peri sauce:

Heat oil in a medium-sized pan and sauté the onion, chillies and red peppers.

Add cumin seeds and paprika and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

Once the peppers are soft, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend into a purée.

Pass through a fine sieve, then bottle it (makes 2 litres, which can be stored in the fridge).