Liziwe Matloha’s love of cooking started early when she would spend Sundays in the kitchen with her mother making the traditional seven colours lunch. That young love turned into a career as Liziwe earned a professional chef’s qualification and created Dinner at Motloha’s, where she offers cooking classes, private chef services and develops recipes.
Her first cookbook, Dinner at Matloha’s is the culmination of her journey as a chef, blogger and food writer and enables the reader to step inside her kitchen and prepare the dishes that make up Liziwe’s heritage. The recipes draw inspiration from her Motswana Mother, Xhosa father, Mopedi husband and her own food interests. The recipes are an eclectic mix of dishes from around the world (beer battered hake, curries, fried rice, and pavlova), traditional foods reimagined (cheesy pap, chakalaka and stews) and heritage dishes (seven colours Sunday lunch, motogo wa ting – a traditional brown sour porridge and Umqombothi, a drink made from malted sorghum).
She includes wonderful explanations of the heritage recipes (which she uses their traditional names in Sepedi, isiXhosa and Setswana) which explain what they are made of and when they are enjoyed. Those important tidbits give meaning to the recipes and make you feel like you’re cooking with Liziwe.
If you want to brush up on your South Arican culinary dishes, it is the cookbook for you.
The recipe I am sharing comes from her chapter on soups and salads which includes loads of ideas for easy weekday meals to dishes that could feed a crowd. It’s her recipe for roasted beetroot and butternut with feta and almonds, which just as she says is a warm salad perfect for cool autumn days. The skin of the butternut is kept on and I used the Scrub Buddy Hygienic silicone sponge to wash it.
Roasted Beetroot and Butternut with Feta and Almonds
- 750 grams baby beetroot peeled and cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 orange juiced and zested
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 garlic cloves lightly crushed
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 750 grams butternut washed, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup brown lentils
- 20 grams flaked almonds lightly toasted
- 30 grams feta cheese crumbled
- Balsamic Reduction
- fresh parsley optional
- Place the beetroot in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and orange juice, season with salt and ground black pepper, and scatter with orange zest. Add the garlic cloves and thyme and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes or until you can easily pierce the beetroot with a fork, turning halfway.
- Place the butternut wedges in a separate roasting pan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for20-25 minutes until fork tender.
- To serve, arrange the butternut and beetroot wedges on a platter. Scatter over the lentils, crumbled feta and flaked almonds and drizzle with Balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Dinner at Matloha’s was given to us by Penguin Random House and is available here. Penguin Random House nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions are our own. The recipe is reprinted with permission, images are our own.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.