Spiced Beetroot and Yoghurt dip

beetroot-dip

This dip is such a gorgeous colour as well as being incredibly moreish. I can’t get enough of it. I have tried making it with vacuum packed pre-cooked beetroot, and although it looks and tastes pretty good, if you make it with fresh beetroot you’ll be rewarded for your extra work with a flavour that’s even better and a colour that’s so unbelievably, gobsmackingly PINK! The photos really don’t do it justice here.

It’s great as a dip with warm pitta, pitta chips, crisps or whatever you like, or as part of a mix and match lunch with salads. It’s also brilliant in a wrap with salad and avocado/feta/anything else, giving a pop of colour and a taste of delicious earthy goodness.

My version is an amalgamation of two different beetroot-yoghurt recipes, from Sabrina Ghayour’s Sirocco, and Meera Sodha’s Fresh India. Both are great but – with apologies to Sabrina and Meera – here’s the version I like best.

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Spiced Beetroot and Yoghurt Dip

Serves 6-8 as a dip or side

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 300g raw beetroot, peeled and grated (easiest to grate it using a food processor attachment)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 300ml Greek yoghurt (the thick kind, no watery/low fat ones!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high, add the mustard seeds and, when they start to pop, add the garlic and fry until golden.

Add the grated beetroot and stir fry for at least 5 minutes, or until it has softened. Let it cool slightly and then whizz it in the food processor until fairly smooth.

Add the lemon, salt, coriander and yoghurt, blitz to mix it all together. Check for seasoning (add more salt or lemon as you wish)

Serve with a sprinkle of nigella seeds and a drizzle of olive oil (or without if you want to keep it healthier!).

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Quinoa, Roast Butternut and Feta Salad

quinoa-butternut-feta

This is a really simple salad that’s perfect for autumn. It’s zingy and colourful and yet pretty filling for a so-called salad. It’s certainly more than the sum of its parts. I find the sweet and sour tang of pomegranate molasses finishes it off perfectly. You could serve as one of several salads, or as a main dish accompanied by some rocket or other greenery, or just by itself. The leftovers make a pretty good packed lunch, too.

Quinoa, Roast Butternut Squash and Feta Salad

Serves 4

220g quinoa
1 medium butternut squash
juice of 1 lemon
a handful of fresh coriander, stalks and leaves, finely chopped
100g feta
pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
pomegranate molasses (optional)

Quinoa, butternut squash, feta, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate molasses

Peel the butternut squash and cut it lengthways into quarters. Scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil, season and roast for about 35 to 45 mins, until it looks nice and caramelised on top and is soft enough to cut through easily with a knife. When cool enough to handle, chop into small cubes, about 2cm.
Cook the quinoa according to instructions.When it’s cooled slightly, add a glug of olive oil, the lemon juice, and stir the butternut chunks and chopped coriander through it. Add salt and pepper to taste, spoon it into your serving dish and sprinkle the crumbled feta over the top. Scatter some pumpkin seeds and, if you like, drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses over the salad just before serving.

Best served warm.

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