Salt-baked beetroot houmous with spelt flat breads
Salt-baked beetroot houmous with spelt flat breadsSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Salt crusting is a clever technique that intensifies beetroot’s beautiful earthy flavour. Don’t worry about the sodium content: you discard the salt after the beetroot has cooked
- 4 medium raw beetroot (350g)
- 350g coarse sea salt, for baking
- zest of 1 lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp tahini, stirred
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
- 100ml olive oil
For the flatbreads
- 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 250g wholegrain spelt flour
- 1 x 7g sachet instant yeast
- 1½ tsp flaked sea salt, crushed a little between your fingers
- 50g melted ghee, cooled, or vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp ghee (melted) or oil, for cooking and serving
Make the flatbreads in advance and freeze, then warm through in the oven to serve.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6, and line a baking tray with foil. Trim the beetroot (don’t peel them), then sit them on the baking tray. In a bowl, mix the salt, most of the lemon zest and egg whites until you have a wettish paste. Pat the paste onto the beetroots until they are each completely covered, or as much as possible. Bake for 1 hour until the crust is firm and golden. Leave to cool
Meanwhile, mix both flours for the flatbread in a large bowl with the yeast and salt, then make a well in the centre. Stir in the ghee, followed by 300ml warm water, a little at a time, until you have a soft but not wet dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough bounces back and feels smooth and soft. Return the dough to the bowl and cover loosely with clingfilm. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
When the beetroots have cooled, crack the crust open and peel off the skins with your fingers, discarding the salt crust. Roughly chop the beetroot and add two thirds to a food processor with the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and thyme. Blend until smooth, then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until smooth and loose (it will thicken as it stands). Add lemon juice to taste and a little water to loosen if needed. Season to taste.
Did you know?
Betacyanin, the purple pigment in beetroot, is thought to potentially protect against developing some cancers.
Tip into a serving bowl, top with the remaining beetroot, diced, a few thyme leaves and the reserved lemon zest and set aside.
Heat a griddle pan for the flatbreads on a medium-low heat (or cook them on the barbecue if you have one lit!). Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and knead a little. Divide into 8 pieces and roll each one to a rough circle, rectangle, triangle – whatever works best. Keep the uncooked flatbreads under clingfilm until ready to cook. Working with 1 or 2 flatbreads at a time, brush both sides with ghee and place on the hot pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until puffed and slightly charred. Keep warm while you cook the remainder.
Drizzle the cooked flatbreads with extra melted ghee if you like and serve with the beetroot houmous.