Beetroots only seem to appear on menus these days roasted or pickled and whilst I adore them in both these forms there are plenty of other delicious ways to serve them up and I intend to showcase that over the coming months.
This is one of my favourite Persian accompaniments and in Farsi is called ‘Maast va Laboo” (strained yogurt & beetroot). It’s crazy simple to make – looks show stopping – and tastes incredible. I serve it up with vegetarian meals where we are having rice or a grain of some kind as it compliments rice well and it’s also delicious with roast chicken and lamb. It would look fantastic on any braai table and make a great curry accompaniment too! It looks like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory and always gets peoples attention, even more so when they taste it for the first time!
A health-food titan, beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and the plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple-crimson colour is betacyanin; a powerful antioxidant. Beetroot is also rich in fibre, exerting favourable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too. But if these pictures don’t entice you to make this dish – nothing else will 😉
TIP: If you stain your hands when grating the beetroot (unavoidable really) use some lemon juice and rub that into the palms of your hands to get rid of the colour. Your welcome!
- 2 large or 4 small beetroots boiled gently until cooked but al dente (time depends on size but approx. 30 mins for small and 40 mins for large) Can be done a few days before – you want the beetroot to be cold so you can grate it. You can use whole cooked slightly pickled beets – but it wont taste quite the same.
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 300g full cream Greek yogurt or wholemilk yogurt
- 3 tbsp fresh mint leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
Peel & grate the beetroot and place in a large bowl.
1 hour before serving max – it should be fresh – add the rest of the ingredients except 1 tbsp mint (keep to one side for decoration)
Mix well and season to taste then place in a serving dish of your choice and sprinkle the last of the fresh mint on top.
There are so many ways to enjoy this delicious dish, I love it with toasted wholemeal pitta bread for breakfast too – if there is any left over of course! Would love to hear what you think after you have tried it!