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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
Wow….that colour is just incredible & that’s before you get to all those wonderful flavours.
So I’ve never been a lover of beets, but I am getting a ton of them in our CSA share, so I am always looking for new ways to use them. How beet-y is the flavor?
Hi Jenna ~ There is definitely an earthiness to this recipe so I’d say yes, a beet flavor; however, it is balanced with the the maple syrup and the goat cheese. We really like this recipe . . . but we fall into the beet ‘lover’ category!
I love beets but have never been more adventurous than adding them to salads. You’ve opened my eyes and my belly to something more in this post. I can’t wait to try this recipe for spiced beet dip. Thanks for sharing, Smithbites!
Just look at that COLOR! Gorgeous!!! And you know, I just happen to have some beets! Hurrah!
Oh wow you two – this is so beautiful!
Oh wow… that colour is just UNREAL!
I too didn’t experience my first real, honest-to-goodness, not-from-a-can beet until I was a grownup. So much better than the mushy tinned beets my mom used to make us eat when I was little. Urgh.
I may have to pick up a bunch of beets at the market this weekend just so I can make this dip for myself. I just can’t get over how beautiful it is.
Oh, wow! That dip is GORGEOUS!!!
This looks awesome! I will definitely be trying this recipe.
Chow for now Jaime aka The Tomato Snob
I’m a lover too… Always have been. I jut love the sound of this dip… And that color is so vibrant! Amazing!
This looks super delicious! We love beets over here, though we have to watch it with the little ones! I also love za’atar, so this recipe is a must for me!
I’m a “I like beets with the right ingredients” girl, which probably puts me more on the “hate” side of the spectrum rather than the “like” side.
I bet this dip would go really, really well with Cabrales (a Spanish blue cheese).
Wow, this is so beautiful-such intense color. With yogurt, za’atar and beets, I know I would love it too.
I am firmly in the beet lover camp and must try this recipe soon. Thanks for the idea!
What a pretty and tasty dip!