Recipe: Beetroot Borani
A recipe from our cook, Antony
Bryony, the head gardener at Sharpham, has been growing some lovely beetroots this year.
The chioggia and golden beetroots have found their way in to a variety of salads. They have a natural affinity with feta or goats cheese and walnuts. The more traditionally-coloured ones have been popular made into patties with pinto beans, garlic and softened onions and then baked and topped with avocado and tomato salsa.
This recipe for beetroot borani dip is very simple, but surprisingly tasty. It goes down well with a barbecue, served with flatbread or pitta.
500g Bunched beetroot
2 garlic cloves finely grated or crushed
4 tbsp of Greek yogurt (or dairy free alternative)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish options: Toasted nigella seeds, dukkah, toasted walnuts and feta, fresh dill or mint.
Wash the beetroots, but don’t peel them. The simplest way is to boil them in lightly salted water until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily. Cool a little and the skins should just rub off easily. A slightly longer-winded way is to season them and wrap each beetroot tightly in foil and bake for an hour or so (or even better, leave them in the dying embers of a barbecue) until soft. You do get a slightly more intense flavour this way and a slightly drier result, but it takes longer.
Blend the beetroot until smooth, then add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar and yogurt. Personally I am not such a fan of soya or coconut yogurt in this recipe. So if I am making a dairy-free version I might leave out the yoghurt completely and use tahini instead, or add some cooked chickpeas or white beans to make it more of a beetroot hummus. It ceases to be a borani, but is still a tasty dip.
Garnishes add colour and flavour, so I like a fresh green herb to really set off the colour of the beetroot.
Make your own Dukkah
Dukkah is a tasty sprinkle perfect for the top of dips. If you want to do this, roast 60g of hazelnuts for about 8 minutes at 190oC, rub the skins off and crush lightly in a pestle and mortar. Then roast 1tbsp of cumin seeds, 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, 1 tbsp of fennel seeds and 2 tbsp of sesame seeds. Allow to cool slightly then crush these in a pestle and mortar or blend very briefly in a spice grinder and mix with the nuts.
Add a tbsp of dried thyme and some good flakey salt. This should keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks (but not in my house because we eat it with pretty much anything).