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Pomegranate molasses roasted beets with oranges, walnuts, dill & labneh
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Serves: 8 as a side dish
150g Greek yogurt
1.5kg small-medium beetroot (weighed without stalks and leaves)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 clove garlic, puréed
3 small oranges, peeled
and cut into neat rounds (remove any seeds)
Seeds from ½ pomegranate (approx 65g)
25g (2 tbsp) roughly chopped walnuts
½ x 20g pack dill, leaves only, very roughly chopped
For the dressing
1 tbsp white
1-2 tsp harissa (depending on how hot you want it)
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp clear honey
1/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1. To make the labneh, put the yogurt into a piece of muslin set in a sieve over a bowl. Add some salt and pepper. Tie the fabric up so that you have something like a ‘bag’. You can hang this from one of your fridge shelves, with the bowl below to catch the drips, or you can just leave it in the sieve over the bowl, giving the bag a gentle squeeze every so often. Leave this for 24 hours. You’ll be left with a firm yogurt ‘cheese’.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Peel the beetroot, cutting off the stalks at the top and any long tails. Halve any that are a bit larger than the others. Put a big double layer of foil into a roasting tin (it needs to be big enough to make a tent around the beets). Mix half the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses and garlic together and season well. Put the beets into the foil and pour this on. Toss the beets and seal the foil at the edges to make a package (with plenty of room around the beets).
3 Cook in the oven until tender right through to the middle. This can take as much as 90 minutes, but start checking after 45 minutes (the cooking time for beetroot seems to vary hugely, but you can make these in advance as they’re served at room temperature).
4. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Cut the beets into wedges and toss them in a bowl with the dressing, then transfer them to a serving platter. Add the orange slices. Break the labneh into chunks and dot that around over the top. Spoon or drizzle with the remaining olive oil – only using as much as you need, don’t smother the beets – then scatter with the pomegranate seeds, walnuts and dill.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in December 2018.