Musical pairing – Multiply by Jamie Lidell
There are two kinds of ‘beet’ camp – lover or hater . . . there just doesn’t appear to be an ‘in between’ . . . and we fall squarely in the lover camp. I must admit that eating ‘pickled’ or ‘sweet’ from a can was my beet of choice as a child; in fact, I’m not sure I even knew what a ‘whole-beet-from-the-garden’ looked like until I was an adult.
The Professor and I have planted rows of heirloom beets in our garden and we pick them up at our local Farmer’s Market nearly every week for as long as they’re in season. Roasted, pickled, grated raw in salads, beets are in our top-10 list of favorite veggies. Cooked and mashed, beets can be added to cakes or pancakes. And we’ve been known to enjoy a smoothie for breakfast every now and again.
This beet dip caught my eye because of it’s drop-dead gorgeous color; but the sweet-spicy flavor of chiles and maple syrup pairs beautifully with the scallion and the tang of the goat cheese; the herbiness of za’atar brings it all together – I’m already planning to make this again for our holiday table!
ZA’ATAR-SPICED BEET DIP
Food & Wine, adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook
- 1-1/2 pounds trimmed red beets
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 small red chile, seeded and minced
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
- 1 Tablespoon za’atar
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup skinned hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- warm gluten-free baguette or tortillas for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place beets in a shallow non-reactive baking pan, add ¼ cup of water and cover with foil; bake for approximately one hour or until fork tender; remove from oven, remove foil and set aside until cook enough to handle
- Peel beets (wear rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands), cut into quarters and place in a blender – use a food processor if you don’t have a heavy-duty blender
- Add garlic, chile, yogurt, olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar; puree until smooth; taste and adjust salt if necessary
- Place in a wide shallow bowl; scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions
- Serve with warm gluten-free baguette or tortillas
© 2012, Debra. All rights reserved.