Friday, 19 July 2013

Pink Dip! Or Beetroot Dip (if you're not a girl)

A dipper's delight
One day I will think of something more inventive to give to hungry supper guests on arrival, than various bowls of various dips, but for the time being I will stick with it. It's nice to be able to wizz up multi-coloured bowls to stab/scoop at and loose the odd tortilla chip in, and none are prettier than this one. Healthy, delicious and PINK this is very much based on Ottolenghi's recipe from Jerusalem. I have made it with both fresh beets and those clever vacuum packed cooked ones, and although the latter are far quicker and are less likely to dip-dye your fingers, I would definitely recommend cooking raw ones, as the result is let wet, and I'm sure the colour was more intense. Which is obviously the most important issue when making pink food...

Feeds 6 as part of a platter, or as a nibble before dinner kicks off properly. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Cut the leaves off and wash 6 raw beets, dry and wrap each one in a little foil blanket and roast on a tray for about 45 mins to an hour, until they are softened. Carefully (they're HOT) unwrap the beets and leave to cool. Once cooled, peel the beetroot and slice into rough wedges. If using ready cooked beets, start the recipe here. In a food processer, wizz the beets, 2 cloves of sliced garlic, half a red chilli, seeds removed and chopped, 3 large tbsp natural yoghurt, some salt and pepper and juice of half a lemon. Once it's pretty smooth, stir in a really decent drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a tbsp za'atar and more seasoning if you need it. Artfully plop in a shallow bowl and garnish with 3 finely sliced spring onions, a small hand-full of toasted almond slivers (or hazelnuts, or pine nuts), some crumbled goats cheese or feta and an even more artistic sprinkling of olive oil.  

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