Labneh with roast beetroots, preserved lemon & green romesco sauce
In Warsaw recently, I ate an incredible dish of roasted beets with hazelnut butter, and I’ve used that as a starting point for this veggie-friendly salad platter with a sort of fresh, green romesco. You can make the labneh a day or so ahead and keep it covered in the fridge.
SERVES 4 PREP 35 mins COOK 1 hr 15 mins, plus 4 hrs straining EASY V 400g natural, full-fat Greek yogurt 4 large beetroots, skin on and cleaned (I like to mix types) 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle and season
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked For the green chilli romesco 1 green pepper
1 green chilli
50g roasted pumpkin seeds 50g roasted hazelnuts (reserve a few to serve)
½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted 1 garlic clove
½ preserved lemon, flesh and pith removed
1 tsp honey
1 slice sourdough bread, cubed 150ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
½ lemon, juice only
small handful dill, chopped small handful coriander, chopped
1 First, make the labneh. Mix the yogurt with a pinch of salt. Line a sieve with muslin, a clean J-cloth or a few sheets of kitchen paper and rest over a deep bowl. Spoon in the yogurt, cover, and put in the fridge to strain for about 4 hrs. You’ll be left with a firmer, soft cheese-like substance – this is your labneh.
2 Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the beetroots in the olive oil with salt, pepper and half the thyme leaves. Wrap each beet loosely in tin foil, then place in a roasting tray. Roast for 1 hr, or until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel off the skins, then slice into wedges. Dress with olive oil and season.
3 Meanwhile heat the grill to high. Toss the green pepper and chilli with a little oil on a baking tray and grill, turning halfway, until
blackened all over (about 10-12 mins). Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool. Remove and discard the skin and any seeds, then set aside.
4 To make the sauce, put the seeds, nuts and spices in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic and preserved lemon and blitz to coarse crumbs. Add the green pepper, chilli and 1 tsp flaky sea salt. Blitz again to a coarse paste, then add the honey, sourdough and olive oil. Whizz gradually, adding 100-150ml water, until you have a spoonable sauce. Pour into a bowl, season and add the lemon juice 2 tsp at a time, until it’s balanced and not too sharp. 5 Smooth a spoonful of labneh on each plate and top with the dressed beets. Spoon over the sauce then scatter over the hazelnuts and herbs and drizzle over some more oil.
GOOD TO KNOW folate • fibre • vit c • iron • 1 of 5-a-day PER SERVING 757 kcals • fat 66g • saturates 14g • carbs 23g • sugars 14g • fibre 6g • protein 15g • salt 0.5g