Light, fresh and packed with flavour, this vegetarian dish can be knocked up in a matter of minutes. Serve as a stand-alone entrée or as part of a shared meal.
- 1 baby Chioggia beetroot, finely sliced on a mandoline (see Note)
- 1 baby fennel, finely sliced on a mandoline
- 1 pickling onion, finely sliced on a mandoline
- 1 radish, finely sliced on a mandoline
- 50 g labna (see Note)
- 2 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 3 micro chickpea shoots
- 10 micro lemon balm shoots
- 10 micro celery shoots
- toasted pine nuts, to serve
- 150 g tomato, chopped
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 1½ cups soaked fine burghul (see Note)
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp sun-dried capsicum paste
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 10 leaves mint, finely sliced
- 10 leaves coriander, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- salt and black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To prepare the burghul, push the tomato, onion and one-third of the soaked burghul through a mincer using a medium-coarse disk. Add the remaining burghul and season with the remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine, taste and adjust the seasonings to balance the flavours. The burghul mixture should have a moist consistency without being too wet. Refrigerate until required. The burghul will continue to absorb the flavourings the longer it rests.
Meanwhile, stand the beetroot, fennel, onion and radish in a bowl of iced water for about 10 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towel.
Spoon the burghul onto a serving dish and spread to make a small round. Place two small quenelles of labna on top then decorate with the shaved vegetables and sliced cherry tomato. Finish with the micro herbs, a few pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil to liven up the dish and to give it a bit of colour. Serve immediately.
• Chioggia beetroot is a beetroot variety known for its red and white striped flesh. Substitute with regular baby beetroot if unavailable.
• Labna is thick yoghurt cheese made by adding salt to yoghurt then hanging the yoghurt to remove the excess whey. Labna can be purchased from European delicatessens and cheese stores.
• To prepare the burghul, soak 150 g burghul in 335 ml of warm water until absorbed.