Serves 4

Ingredients

Beetroot sponge

50ml beetroot juice

½ gelatine leaf

Pinch of salt

 

Beetroot crumbs

50g panko crumbs

10g beetroot powder

 

Spinach and onion purée

½ onion, thinly sliced

100ml single cream

100g baby spinach

10g unsalted butter

Salt

 

Buchu powder

40g dried buchu leaves

 

Buttermilk labne

100ml buttermilk

Pinch of salt

 

Cucumber and dill granita

150g cucumber, diced

10g pickled dill

5g white wine vinegar

2g salt

1g xanthan gum

 

Method

Beetroot sponge

Place the gelatine in a small bowl with ice water and set aside. Place the beetroot juice and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine leaf. Strain the beetroot juice into a medium size bowl, placed over another bowl filled with ice. Whisk the beetroot mixture vigorously and continuously until it is aerated and cold. The gelatin will have set it. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into a half sphere flexipan mould. Refrigerate.

 

Beetroot crumbs

Pre-heat the oven to 100ºc. Mix the crumbs with the beetroot power and lightly toast in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool and place in an airtight container.

 

Spinach and onion purée

Sweat the onions in the butter until translucent. Season with salt. Add the cream and reduce over a high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Blanch the spinach in  boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the spinach with a large slotted spoon and place directly into a blender jug. Blend until very smooth, add the creamed onions and blend again. Pass through a tamis.

 

Buchu powder

Blend until very fine using a spice grinder.

 

Buttermilk labne

Hang the buttermilk overnight in a muslin cloth.  Once fully drained, discard the excess whey and place the buttermilk in a small piping bag.

 

Cucumber and dill granita

Blend all the ingredients in a bar blender then pass through a fine sieve, pour into a tray with a wide base, and freeze. Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to form fine flakes. Keep frozen.

 

To serve

Scoop the centre out of the beetroot sponges and fill with some of the spinach and onion puree, then take the two halves and stick them together. Carefully roll in the beetroot crumbs. Pipe 1 tablespoon of buttermilk onto the plate and drag across with a small spatula. Place the beetroot ball on the plate, scoop some of the granita next to the ball and sprinkle with some buchu powder.

 

Find out more about Margot Janse's culinary career on her profile....