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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Beetroot Tahini Dip

I wouldn't dare call this marvelous dip "Hummus."  Not because it lacks anything in deliciousness or because of it's ability to pair with anything Mediterranean (or anything at all) but simply because the translation of the word Hummus is Chickpea, and there aren't any at all in this creamy and deep yet light and sweet dip.  I basically replaced cooked chickpeas with roasted beets, and the recipe took on a whole new direction.  I was prompted to make something with beets in it for NYE because it would be one of the healthy light items on a menu filled with rich fois gras, escargots, egg rolls, Mont d'Or cheese for dipping crusty bread and a few veggies, and duck paraphernalia.  I think 2014 was the year of the duck, well, at least for me.
Anyway, the idea of mixing roasted beets with tahini is just genius.  Its already deep earthy sweet flavor becomes creamy and delightful and made an excellent and colorful accompaniment to my falafel and various other dippable vegetables.
Also, it's purple, which makes it worth it all together.
Yield 1 1/2 cups
500g (1 lb) beets, peeled (can be previously cooked)
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil + drizzles for roasting
3 Tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried piment d'espelette (or chile powder)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Dollop of yogurt (optional)
Sesame seeds
1.  If you are using previously cooked beets (vacuum sealed or recently boiled or steamed) peel, quarter, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some fleur de sel, and roast at 200°C 400°F for 30 minutes.  If you are using raw beets, keep them whole and unpeeled and cook for 1 hour or until tender.  You can peel them after they are roasted.  They will taste better that way.
2.  Blend your peeled roasted beets with all the rest of the ingredients until if reaches a homogenous consistency.
I blended the beets with garlic first with the lemon juice and added the dry spices later on, adding in some olive oil as needed.
3.  Serve chilled or at room temperature sprinkled with sesame seeds.  I put a well in the center with a dollop of yogurt.  That is a completely optional step and will not have negative impact if left out (which is why I still consider this a vegan recipe).
I love when my offerings are a feast to all the senses.  Your eyes dance with glee while discovering the vibrant purple glistening color, your olfaction will breathe in Earth, your tongue will dive into the velvet and let your whole mouth partake in the adventure, and finally, you will taste everything you may have sensed, with a little extra suprise of heat....because, well, it's my creation, so I put some piment d'espelette in it.
It's funny because as my tasters were devouring, one said.. 
"Ooh is there spice in there?  It creeps up on you afterwards!"
That thought was followed by..
"Oh right, Steph made it.  It would be more strange if it didn't have any heat."
They are finally starting to understand me!!!
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