Spicy tower of pumpkin and beetroot

As much as I am convinced I am doing the right thing by “showing” people how delicious and easy plantbased food can be, sometimes this little voice in the back of my mind tells me that it is all very insignificant. Obviously that is a very discouraging thought and it leaves me completely uninspired from time to time. On the other hand I also strongly believe in the fact that the Universe always takes care of you when you most need it and that is exactly what happened to me yesterday!

I had an empty fridge so it was time to pay a visit to the Turkish supermarket to stock up. While I was selecting a few pomegranates I noticed this woman behind me waiting till I was done, so she could reach for the mangos. Then she reconsidered and choose a pomegranate and said to me: “You inspired me to take a pomegranate as well.” So I answered that she was wise to do so because they are delicious, versatile and very healthy . Then she asked me: “But what do you with them?” I explained her and gave her my business card so she could check out this site and my postings on FB. She smiled a warm smile and thanked me. That felt good and I do not recall if I did, but I should have thanked hér for being there at the right moment.

Next, at the vegetable department, I saw many lovely fresh produce, peppers in lots of variaties, fresh lush bunches of herbs, things you cannot buy in our regular supermarket. I am not sure what happened (and when I think back this was actually not the first time either) but I felt all this inspiration for lovely dishes flowing into me! I got excited and made plans for new recipes on the spot. I even might have taken a small leap, secretly.

Then, the girl behind the counter saw that I was buying two boxes of berry rice and asked me thereafter if that was any good. She had noticed the product in the store, got curious as to whether it was tasty and was actually waiting for a chance to ask the first buying customer… that customer turned out to be me!

All in all maybe normal occurrences, but very meaningful to me at that specific moment in time! It made that little voice inside my head shut up, for a while at least.

This dish is what I thought of while being in the store, it is exactly how I thought it would be. My husband exclaimed by the sight of it : “Wouw, this is serious restaurant stuff dear”! I must say I am very proud of how it looks (even though I am not a professional photographer) and even more proud that it was incredibly delicious as well. I mean really, really good!!

It does require some work, not something you will do during a working week, but definitely worth your while!

Step 1 to 3, roasting the beetroot in aluminum foil with fresh thyme, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

Roasting sliced fennel seasoned with caraway seeds, salt and pepper and olive oil. Both in the oven at 180 ℃ until tender (hour for the beetroot, 30 minutes for the fennel). Blending of the herb dressing, fresh flat parsley, fresh tarragon, whole deseeded chilipepper, black garlic and olive oil.

Step 4 to 6, slicing the pumpkin, roasting them with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil in the oven at 200℃ for 25 minutes. Slicing the roasted beetroot, making a tower of a slice of pumpkin, slice of beetroot, tsp of herb dressing, slice of pumpkin with the gap in the middle, another tsp of herb dressing. Return to oven for 15 minutes, then the fennel at the top and back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

I served it with freekeh spiced with harissa powder on a bed of a puree of the leftover beetroot and two cooked turnips, with some salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Sprinkled it with beetroot sprouts and fresh thyme.

Enjoy!