Roasted beetroot salad with garlic and labne

Roasted beetroot salad with garlic and labne

A la Grecque
Mark Roper

Roasting beetroot really intensifies its flavour. As it cooks, the sweet juices run out onto the roasting tray and caramelise, and you do have to make sure that they don’t burn. Beetroots can take a long time to cook, so I like to cover them with foil for the first 40 minutes. Then I remove the foil so that the outer edges roast properly in the heat. I always peel the beetroots before roasting them, so as not to lose the lovely caramelised exterior.

Labne is strained yoghurt, and its creamy flavour goes perfectly with the intense sweetness of the roasted beetroot and garlic.


Quantity Ingredient
500g plain yoghurt
1kg medium beetroots, peeled
125ml corn oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 whole head garlic
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
120ml extra virgin olive oil
40ml red wine vinegar


  1. Start making the labne the day before you wish to serve the salad. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the yoghurt and tip into a colander lined with a clean piece of muslin. Sit the colander in a bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours. As the liquid drains away, the yoghurt will thicken into a firm, dense mass called labne. Use two soup spoons to form the labne into about 8 even-sized balls and place them on a lightly oiled plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and lightly oil a small baking tray.
  3. Arrange the beetroots in the baking tray. Drizzle with corn oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the tray with foil and roast for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue roasting for another 50 minutes, or until the beetroots are easily pierced with a sharp knife. When cool enough to handle, slice the beetroots into wedges.
  4. On another small baking tray, roast the head of garlic for 30 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch. When cool enough to handle, divide into individual cloves, peel and set aside.
  5. Scatter the cumin seeds onto a small baking tray and roast for 7 minutes, or until fragrant.
  6. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Arrange the beetroot wedges in a large serving bowl and scatter on the roasted garlic cloves. Sit the labne balls on top and sprinkle them with the toasted cumin seeds. Drizzle over the dressing and serve.
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