Colourful slices of a sweet potato bread with flecks of red and white from the beetroot and feta

Sweet potato, beetroot, harissa and feta loaf

Colourful slices of a sweet potato bread with flecks of red and white from the beetroot and feta

Pretty as a painting, this sweet potato, beetroot, harissa and feta loaf  is almost too gorgeous to eat – but it tastes as good as it looks.

The sweet potato adds sweetness, the beetroot contributes both colour and earthiness, the harissa has fiery, spicy depth (you can adjust the quantity to suit your tastebuds) and the feta delivers a salty tang to balance the flavours.

We’re well in to the root vegetable season now so these ingredients should be easy to find.

There is cornmeal (fine polenta) in there too, for some texture, and you can sub the buttermilk for a mix of yoghurt and milk if that’s hard to come by.

Next time the oven is on, pop a tray a sweet potatoes underneath (make sure to prick them so they don’t explode!), they should take an hour or so to soften so you can scoop out the cooked flesh once they have cooled. The beetroot doesn’t need pre-cooking.

I had this warm from the oven spread with cream cheese. It’s like a Rorschach painting in your mouth!

Ingredients

Makes a 900g loaf (or 10 muffins)

170g plain flour (you can use gluten-free)

170g fine cornmeal

3 heaped teaspoons baking powder

.5 teaspoon bicarb of soda
.5 teaspoon salt

250g cooked sweet potato, mashed

1 medium raw beetroot, peeled and grated

200ml whole milk
200ml Greek yoghurt or buttermilk
2 medium free-range eggs
50ml olive or rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of your favourite harissa paste (more or less according to taste)
200g feta cheese, drained and crumbled

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 2lb loaf tin or use a non-stick baking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, weigh out and mix the dry ingredients. In a large jug add the milk, yoghurt, eggs and harissa and whisk well.
Add the wet mix to the dry and use a big folding action with a spatula to combine, the add the sweet potato and feta.
Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 50-65 minutes. It’s a damp loaf but a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when it’s done.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. You can also make these as muffins, simply line and fill a muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Why not also have a look at my Cheddar and Green Chilli cornbread recipe.

© Linda Galloway 2020