Blackberries, of course, aren’t ripe yet but I discovered I had a bag from last year at the back of my freezer and though I’d better eat them up before the new season starts. I had just got hold of perfectly small and round new beetroot and I recalled reading somewhere that Rene Redzepi did a Noma dish with beetroot and blackberries (this isn’t that). I also knew, from previous experience, that labneh went well with a beetroot/sour fruit combination. So I created this as part of a kind of meze dinner, and it worked wonderfully.
Serves 2 as part of meze
6 small beetroot; small sprig thyme; rapeseed oil; salt and pepper; small handful frozen or fresh blackberries; 1 ball labneh; 1 tsp cabernet sauvignon vinegar; 1 tsp sumac; olive oil
Set oven to 200˚C.
Cut off the leaves and root from each beetroot, scrub well then place onto a piece of tin foil big enough to cover it. Pour over a little rapeseed oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and some thyme then seal the foil around the beetroot.
Place in a roasting dish in the oven for about 30–40 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven, open the foil parcels and allow to cool.
When cool enough to handle take the beetroot out of the foil and peel away the skin. Return to the roasting dish, sprinkle over the vinegar and add the blackberries. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes until the blackberries just begin to soften.
Serve on a plate with labneh pieces, and sumac and olive oil sprinkled over.