I have always been a little timid to try smoking food, although friends have given me the instructions for smoking tofu and also garlic. I had in the back of my mind that I might purchase one of those smoker trays for my Weber Q one day but, you know, never got around to it. And I have absolutely no desire to smoke out my kitchen and ruin my wok smoking food on the stove top, setting off all smoke alarms.
But my dear friend Ottolenghi has a recipe for smoked beetroot, and one cool Autumn morning, the Weber Q is lit, a smoker fashioned out of foil trays and tin foil. The tray is layered with rice and lemon rind and thyme, beetroot is placed on top, it is wrapped tightly, and my smoker is made. The recipe is from Plenty More.
A timer is essential, as the flavour of the beetroot becomes too intense if smoked for too long. If you are smoking inside, a strong extractor fan is highly recommended.
This recipe is one with multiple steps, process and pots and pans. Smoke the beetroot. Bake the smoked beetroot. Make the salad. Toast the nuts. Make the caramel. Spread on a tray with nuts. Make the yoghurt sauce. Quite a few pots and pans along the way.
But it is a stunner of a salad – both in flavour and looks – and a fantastic way to open a fancy meal. The smokiness of the beetroot with the sweet-bitter caramel, both lightened with the curd. Heaven.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Similar recipes include Kohlrabi, Beetroot and Celery Leaf Salad, Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad, Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing, and Roast Beetroot with Sweetcorn.
Browse all of our Beetroot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.
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