I had a Turkish inspired meal this evening – In particular a dish inspired by the mountains of Cappadocia. When I travelled there a few years ago I had some delicious salads – in particular a delicious beetroot salad which featured some local cheese, quite similar to feta. I ate mine with lamb and the two work amazingly well together. The sweet, earthy flavour of beetroot compliment the slightly gamey, sweetness of the lamb meat. The cheese brings a much needed salty sharpness to the dish. It’s delicious.
3 medium beetroots
1/2 small onion (very finely sliced)
1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon (juice of)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
80g feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Trim the stalks and wrap each beetroot with skin on in silver foil and bake in the oven on a tray for 45-60 minutes until soft. Remove, cool for 10 minutes and then peel off the skin and cut into small chunks. Place in a bowl together with the onion, dill and parsley. Season with pepper.
Mash together in a pestle and mortar the salt and garlic into a paste. Whisk in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, cumin and extra virgin olive oil. Pour over the beetroot then stir the salad to combine. Crumble over the feta cheese and serve.
Works especially well with gamey meat such as duck, venison or lamb – but also works very well with fish or poultry.