A perfect addition to a Middle Eastern menu designed for sharing, this salad can be served on its own, with some thick yoghurt or labne on the side. Roast the beetroot on the barbecue for extra flavour. Serve any remaining za'atar with bread and extra-virgin olive oil for dipping. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak chickpeas.
- 6 medium beetroot, trimmed
- 170 gm dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint, plus extra leaves to serve
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1Preheat oven to 220°C. Place beetroot in a baking dish with 1cm water, season, then cover with foil and roast until tender (1 hour). Set aside to cool, then peel and cut into thin wedges.
- 2Meanwhile, drain chickpeas and transfer to a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then add 250ml cold water, bring back to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, topping up water as necessary until tender (40 minutes to 1 hour). Drain chickpeas and set aside to cool.
- 3Meanwhile, for za'atar, pound herbs with a mortar and pestle until coarsely crushed. Add sesame seeds and sumac, and pound until finely ground.
- 4Stir 3 tsp za'atar with lemon juice, vinegar, oil and garlic in a bowl to combine, and season to taste. Add half the za'atar dressing to beetroot in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter. Stir remaining za'atar dressing with chickpeasand mint in a bowl to combine, then spoon over beetroot. Garnish salad with extra mint leaves and a sprinkle of extra za'atar to serve.