Snacks and sides

Lemon-scented labneh with fig and beetroot

Packed with fresh figs and earthy beetroot, this colourful salad is simple and refreshing. Begin this recipe a day ahead.

Photo: Chris Court

Chris Court


Lemon-scented mascarpone labneh
Pickled beetroot


1.For labneh, place yoghurt, mascarpone and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Line a fine sieve with muslin or a clean chux cloth and set over a deep bowl. Add mixture, fold up edges and tie a knot to secure. Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight, to drain. Transfer to a bowl and discard liquid; keep chilled until ready to use.
2.For pickled beetroot, combine orange juice, sugar, ½ tsp sea salt flakes, bay leaf and 125ml water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves (3 minutes); remove from heat. Place beetroot slices in a heatproof bowl. Pour over liquid and pickle until beetroot is slightly tender (10 minutes). Drain, reserving 2 tbsp pickling liquid.
3.For dressing, place reserved pickling liquid with olive oil in a small bowl; season to taste and whisk to combine.
4.Heat a frying pan over low heat. Toast fennel seeds and buckwheat, shaking pan occasionally (4-5 minutes), until aromatic and toasted; set aside.
5.To serve, dollop spoonfuls of labneh on a serving platter, top with pickled beetroot and torn figs. Drizzle with dressing and scatter with toasted buckwheat, fennel seeds and herbs.

Mixed micro herbs are available in punnets from specialty grocers. If unavailable, substitute seasonal baby leaves and soft herbs of your choice.


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