Beetroot spaghetti with mackerel and dill dressing

photo (30)

Bought myself a mother-fucking spiraliser! Feel like total badass, noodling away all of my vegetables. The day I got it I couldn’t get Ren & Stimpy’s ‘Billy The Beef Tallow Boy’ song out of my head, but with the lyric, ‘can we deep fry the…’ replaced with ‘can we spiralise the…’ It was quite a day.

Let’s not go and pretend a vegetable noodle is better than pasta btw – I remember once seething through an episode of Ready Steady Cook while Tesco’s most-wanted Anthony Worrall Thompson insistently refer to slivers of courgette as ‘pasta’. Pasta is pasta, long strands of vegetable can be referred to as noodles at best, for the shape.

A noodled vegetable is instead something delicious in its own right – a novel way to eat salad, you could say, and actually, a lot can be said for the familiarity of the twisted texture that certainly makes it as satisfying as pasta, especially when it’s as deeply flavoursome as earthy beetroot, sharp dill and lemon, and rich oily fish. Best of all, this recipe takes less than 15mins.

The dressing for the beetroot comes from a mind-blowingly delicious (yep) beet and bulgar salad on NYT’s Restaurant Takeaway blog, which is essentially just a mustard and dill vinaigrette, but man, is it good with beetroot (nb: I recently made beetroot noodles with no dressing, just the yoghurt topping, and they were a bit dry, so need at least a drizzle of oil). I’m pretty obsessed with the honey, tahini and garlic yoghurt dressing, which I found on life-envy blog, My New Roots. It’s sweet, and nutty and sharp and just extremely tasty so I’ve slapped it on everything lately. I can’t actually find the original post, so I’ll include my remembered version below (soz MNR ILU).

I’d originally planned this recipe with a bit of smoked salmon, but had a frugal panic in Whole Foods and went for smoked mackerel instead. Either would work just as well, but the meatiness of the mackerel certainly made this into a heartier meal.

The beetroot gets a quick stint in the oven because personally, I like hot food better, but if you do fancy them cold, still do the oven bit and let them cool, as the heat softens the rawness out of them slightly, while still retaining the crunch. The peas are just there for a bit of green, so take them or leave them – rocket might be nice instead.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Main bit

1 big fillet of smoked mackerel, flaked up.

2 large, raw beetroots.

A couple of handfuls of peas, or other green vegetable – broccoli, rocket, bit of spinach, that kind of thing.

Beetroot noodle dressing

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

3 tablespoons of red wine or cider vinegar (pref red wine).

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.

1 tablespoon of finely chopped dill.

Yoghurt tahini sauce

4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt.

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

1 tablespoon of runny honey.

1 teaspoon of tahini.

squeeze of half a lemon.

1 small garlic clove, crushed.

2 teaspoons or so of chopped dill.


Heat the oven to 180C. Spiralise your beetroot into spaghetti thickness. Dare you not to ooooooooh as the long pink noodles emerge. Spread them out onto an oven dish and stick in the oven for 7mins.

Meanwhile, whisk together all of your dressing ingredients in one bowl and your yoghurt sauce ingredients in another, seasoning both with salt and pepper. Stir a little water into the yoghurt if it doesn’t seem to be a loose drizzling consistency.

Cook yer green.

Remove the beetroot from the oven and toss the beetroot dressing through them to coat on the oven tray. Divide between two bowls.

Top with green veg, mackerel and a good drizzle of the yoghurt.

There’ll prob be some yoghurt left, but it’ll keep a week or so in the fridge.



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