Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - FOOD - KATE MCGHIE

THIS colour­ful beet­root dish earns its place at the ta­ble again and again. It can be a snack or kick­start a meal as a not-your-usual dip. It stars as a meat-free stand-alone starter. Or it can play side dish to lamb, pork or fish. Nutty-tex­tured burghul is best known in tabouleh and when in­tro­duced to beet­root blushes a rich fuch­sia colour. Just don’t put out the white cloth nap­kins or table­cloth when this is on the menu. Roasted beet­root puree with burghul 3 medium beet­root, scrubbed 2/3 cup olive oil 2 cups wa­ter Sea salt and freshly ground pep­per 1 cup burghul 1/3 cup red wine vine­gar 1 plump gar­lic clove, crushed 2 tsp Di­jon mus­tard 2-3 hand­fuls mixed fresh herbs, roughly chopped 2 spring onions, trimmed, finely sliced ½ cup finely chopped cel­ery 1 wit­lof, leaves sep­a­rated 1/3 cup nat­u­ral yo­ghurt PRE­HEAT the oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. CUT the un­peeled beet­root into quar­ters and ar­range in a roast­ing pan. Driz­zle with 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil and splash with 2 ta­ble­spoons of the wa­ter. Sprin­kle with salt and pep­per, cover with foil and bake 20 min­utes. Cool and then peel and dice. PUT the beet­root in a pot with the re­main­ing wa­ter over medium-high heat, bring to the boil and sim­mer 2 min­utes. Strain, re­serv­ing the liq­uid. PUT the burghul in a bowl with 1½ cups of the re­served beet­root wa­ter. Cover and leave for about 45 min­utes or un­til the burghul has ab­sorbed all the liq­uid. BLITZ the beet­root in a blender with the vine­gar, gar­lic, mus­tard and re­main­ing oil un­til a coarse puree. Add salt and pep­per to taste. TIP the puree into the burghul and add the herbs, spring onions and cel­ery. Mix well. SERVE im­me­di­ately or re­frig­er­ate for up to one day, with wit­lof leaves and yo­ghurt on the side. COOK’S NOTE: For a pleas­ing note of heat add a tea­spoon of horse­rad­ish cream. Serves 6, Prepa­ra­tion time 20 mins, Cook­ing time 20 mins

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