This features one of my favourite fruits, figs, which I remember picking as a child. It’s important to scatter each ingredient evenly over the beetroot slices when putting this together so that everyone gets a good selection of the different flavours. If you can’t find figs, use roasted pears, peaches or apricots.
a generous knob of butter
1 tsp caster sugar
2 just-ripe figs, each cut into 6-8 wedges
500g cooked beetroot, thinly sliced
125g red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
100g feta, crumbled
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp runny honey
paprika, to season
small handful of small mint leaves, to serve
1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sprinkle over the sugar. As soon as the butter has stopped foaming, carefully lay the fig wedges in the butter and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until just golden.
2. Take the slices of beetroot and arrange them on a large platter, with each slice slightly overlapping the next. I find it easier to start by laying the slices on the outer edge of the platter and then work in so that they’re all lying on top of one another.
3. Place the cherry tomatoes over the beetroot slices, then scatter over the feta. You can do this with your hands or use a spoon, if you prefer. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
4. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and honey together and spoon over the top, then season with paprika. I like to sprinkle this on the feta so the white of the cheese is highlighted by the red spice. Finally, arrange the mint leaves on top and serve.
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Recipe from Feasts from the Middle East by Tony Kitous, founder of Comptoir Libanais restaurants and delis, to be published on 8 March by HQ, price £20. Tony grew up in Algeria, with a love of home cooking and the food culture of his homeland. In the book he shares the flavour-packed, affordable dishes he loves the most (many inspired by his mum Zohra and by family memories), ranging from easy morning meals to grand dinners with friends. To order a copy for £16 until 11 March, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.