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
- 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.
- 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.
- Top with the green onions, nuts and goat cheese, then drizzle a little more olive oil over it all.
- Serve at room temperature.