I never liked beetroot growing up, as the only way I ever encountered it was pickled in vinegar which I found very unappealing and for some reason I found the colour deeply disturbing.
It was only in my twenties that I ate beetroot for the first time.
Roasted, it was love at first bite.
It’s the vegetable that reminds me the most of the earth, it comes form the earth, its colour is intensely earthy, and its flavour carries the earth.
I love how it transforms when it’s baked in the oven, and all the delicious sugars caramelise.
Roasted with olive oil and and a dusting of dukkha is my favourite way to eat beetroot.
I also love hummous and have experimented making this dip using other vegetables. One rather tasty and interesting version I made was a fresh green pea hummous, so I thought the beetroot, especially roasted would have the perfect texture to make a dip filled with Middle Eastern spices.
This is what you will need to make: (with dips and sauces, its very much a preference thing and I think best to just taste and test along the way and adjust the seasoning accordingly)
- aprox. 400 – 450 gms of beetroot (5 – 6 medium beetroot) – peeled and quartered
- 4 Tbs Tahina paste (sesame seed paste)
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves crushed (It’s a preference thing)
- juice of a lemon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- a small handful of smoked macadamia nuts
How to make:
- pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
- place the quartered beetroot in a roasting dish with a light drizzle of olive oil
- roast for about 30 – 40 minutes until cooked through and nicely caramelised around the edges
- when the beetroot is cooled run it through a food processor with all the remaining ingredients until a nice thick paste consistency develops
- add a splash of olive oil if you want to thin it down and taste and test until you are happy with the flavour combinations
I roughly chopped up a handful of smoked and roasted macadamia nuts from The Smoking Shed for garnish, with a few beautiful wisps of beetroot sprouts and a drizzle of olive oil to give it a lift.
I served this very bright, vibrant, slightly sweet but zingy dip with toasted wholewheat pita triangles.
Split a couple of wholewheat (can use white, but I like the texture of ww and healthier) pitas through the middle and open up. Brush the inside with garlic oil, or rub a garlic clove over as you would to make bruschetta amd then brush with olive oil. You could sprinkle over some dried mixed herbs, or smoked salt (yes I am addict), or herb salt and then toast each side under the grill until nice and crispy. Quarter these into wedges using a pizza knife and serve with the dip.
So much healthier than crisps, I always have them in my freezer for snacks.