“Beets? I've got beets(!) Will you eat them if I send some home?”
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“Ummmm … “
We stood, my mom and I, peering long and hard into her cabinet filled with jars of fruits and vegetables. I'm not exactly sure when mason jars replaced freezer bags, but I'm sure glad they did
“Wait, do you even like beets?”
“Ummmm … Maybe I've just never had a good one. What the heck, throw them in. My husband does for sure.”
They stayed on the counter for the better part of the week. It's best not to push inspiration. When the time was right, I'd know, and indeed I did. In search of ideas for our upcoming swap, there is a beautifully colored dip made from beets.
Jerusalem has yet to steer me wrong, and this recipe was no exception. True to form, it was a breeze to execute once I had the ingredients.
The beets provided the body of the puree, along with the vibrant color, and earthy sweetness. Yogurt helping with the creamy texture and slightly sour bite. The red chile and za'atar combined to perfectly dance around the sweetness of the beets, to pointedly poke through the deep purple-red with spicy flashes.
Just as brilliantly, the recipe called for a sprinkling of hazelnuts, goat cheese, and thinly sliced green onions to top it off. A simple, yet surprisingly magical concoction, if there ever was one
As I dipped a few veggies into this delicious purple dip, “Huh. There just could be something to this beet thing, maybe it isn't so bad after all.”
~ Adapted from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem
Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za’atar
- 2 lbs beets (they should weigh about 1 lb after cooking and peeling)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ Tbsp date syrup (or maple syrup)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil + extra to finish the dish
- 1 Tbsp za’atar
- fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- To Garnish
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
- 2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- a pinch of za’atar
- Roast the Beets
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Wash the beets and place them on a pan that has been lined with aluminum foil. Roast them uncovered for about an hour (or until you can easily slide a knife into them)
- Take the beets out of the oven and let them cool until you can handle them. Peel the beets, cut them into quarters, and allow to cool completely.
- Pureed Beets with Yogurt + Za’atar
- Put the beets, garlic, chili flakes and yogurt in a food processor and blend until into a smooth paste.
- Transfer the beet mixture to a large bowl and mix in the maple syrup, olive oil, za’atar, a tsp of sea salt, and a grind of black pepper
- Place the puree on a flat serving plate, using the back of a spoon to spread it evenly around the plate.
- Sprinkle the green onions, a pinch of za’atar, almonds and the goat cheese on the puree. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve at room temperature