SATURDAY COOKING: BEET, YOGURT AND PRESERVED LEMON RELISH.

This recipe for BEET, YOGURT AND PRESERVED LEMON RELISH comes from “Plenty” cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi. It’s a great vegetarian cookbook, a counterpart to “Jerusalem” written by the same author and Sami Tamimi, which features meat and fish recipes.
As the weather starts to warm up, I feel like I need more salads and lighter meals, so this fits the bill perfectly.
This recipe is yummy, it has lots of flavour and texture and it will serve 4.

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2lbs (1kg) large beets (that’s beetroot)
4 heaped tbsp chopped dill
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2/3 cup Greek yogurt

Relish
2 yellow bell peppers (that’s yellow capsicum)
3 tbsp olive oil
1½  tsp coriander seeds
one 14-oz (440g) can chopped plum tomatoes (with their juices)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper
3tbsp chopped preserved lemon
2 tbsp. each chopped parsley and cilantro (coriander)

Method:

      1.  Start by cooking the beetroot whole in plenty of boiling water for 1 to 2 hours, or until they are tender; check by piercing them with a knife. Allow them to cool down completely before you peel them and cut into wedges.
      2. To make the relish. Preheat the grill to high. Use a small knife to cut around the stems of the peppers; carefully pull out the stems with the seeds and discard. Place the peppers on a grill pan lined with foil and grill for up to 30 minutes, or until they are cooked inside and black on the outside, turning them over once during the cooking. Fold the edges of the foil over the peppers to enclose them completely, then leave to cool down. Pell them and cut into strips.
      3. Pour the olive oil into a medium saucepan, heat up and fry the coriander seeds for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sugar and some salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the preserved lemon and continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in in the herbs and yellow pepper strips. Allow to cool down completely.
      4. When you are ready to finish the salad, transfer the cool beet wedges to a mixing bowl and add the relish, dill, red onion and some salt and pepper. Stir well, then taste for seasoning. Just before you serve, add the yogurt and swirl it through gently. Don’t stir too much, so you get a white and red marbled effect rather than uniform pink.
      5. Eat!

 

I made the relish in advance and ate it in 3 days, with other salads, on bread, with feta. I love the taste of it!
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I cheated and used tin beetroot, but you can also buy packets of pre-cooked beetroot. It may be easier if you don’t have a lot of time.

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