Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za’atar from Jerusalem

Saturday we had lunch with some friends, over in the cooler part of the bay area. It was nice to escape the heat–and even better to visit with our friends. I brought a couple of dips as appetizers and gambled on a new one that had caught my eye, Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za’atar from Jerusalem: A Cookbook. It was really good! I served it with crackers and cut up pitas. It goes together very quickly–once you’ve roasted the beets.

I didn’t take a picture of it the first time I made this but I made it again yesterday. The recipe in Jerusalem calls for date syrup, which I didn’t have. They say you can substitute maple syrup but before I read that I substituted pomegranate molasses. You just need a touch of sweetener. I used maple syrup the second time I made it.

The first time I used walnuts rather than hazelnuts because that’s what I had on hand. The second time I used pecans. I skipped the goat cheese, because I’m not a fan.

Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar from Jerusalem

  • about 1 pound beets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chile, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons date syrup (or maple syrup or pomegranate molasses)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (plus extra to finish)
  • 1 Tablespoon za'atar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  1. Heat the oven to 400. Roast the beets in a roasting pan until soft, about 1 hour but it depends on the size of your beets. Let the beets cool off and then peel them. I like to use a paper towel to scrape the skin off. Cut each beet into 6 pieces.
  2. Put the beets, garlic, chili and yogurt in a food processor and process until really smooth. Put the beet and yogurt mixture into a bowl and stir in the date syrup, olive oil, za'atar and salt. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. Top with the green onions, nuts and goat cheese, then drizzle a little more olive oil over it all.
  4. Serve at room temperature.
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