baked beetroot
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Baked Beetroot with Labneh, Dill, Lovage & Lemon

By Gill Meller

Cooking whole beetroot over a hot fire crisps and darkens the skin while sweetening and softening the insides — for an unbelievable contrast of flavours and textures.

  • Vegetarian
  • Dirty cooking
  • Dairy

Overview

This recipe works best with new-season beetroot, about golfball size. Just give them a quick scrub and toss them on the grill, leaves and all. They only take 30-40 minutes to cook. Served with herbs, lemon and labneh (a simple homemade yoghurt cheese), they’re completely, surprisingly delectable.

Making the labneh

Start by making the labneh. Place the yoghurt in a bowl, add the salt and give it a good mix. Line a sieve with a large square of clean muslin or a clean, thin cotton cloth. Spoon the salted yoghurt into the centre of the cloth, then gather up the sides.

Suspend the labneh over a bowl and leave to drain for 2-8 hours, depending on how thick you’d like it.

When drained, lift the labneh from the cloth into a bowl. Chop half the dill and add this to the labneh along with 2 tbsp olive oil, some chilli flakes and half the lemon zest. Mix well and refrigerate until needed.

baked beetroot baked beetroot

Set up your EGG

Light your EGG. When the temperature reaches 220˚C and the charcoal is white you're ready to cook. Add the beetroot directly to the charcoal and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Turn the beetroot regularly as they cook. The tops will smoke and burn but this all adds to the theatre and the flavour. Don’t worry if the beetroot blacken - it adds to the flavour and texture.

baked beetroot

When the beetroot are cooked, cut them in half and place them in a bowl. Add plenty of salt and pepper, a little more olive oil, the remaining dill (chopped), chilli flakes and lemon zest. Tumble together.

Take a large serving platter and spread the labneh over it. Arrange the dressed beetroot over the labneh and bring to the table.