Beetroot vegetable

Roasted Beet Tahini Dip with Mint and Toasted Cumin [Recipe]

Tahini may be one of the best foods you’ve never heard of. It’s a paste made of ground hulled sesame seeds that’s widely used as a condiment in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.

Tahini is the glue that holds together classic Middle Eastern staples such as hummus and baba ganoush, but it can also be used in a myriad of other ways — as a stand-alone dip, a salad dressing, a simple spread for bread or pita, a sauce or marinade for grilled meat or even in pastry applications like cookies and cakes.

Tahini has a rich, nutty flavor and a delightful creamy texture, similar to that of peanut butter, although tahini is earthier and more bitter than peanut butter. It’s chock full of health benefits, boasting healthy fatty acids as well as high amounts of protein, iron, calcium and dietary fiber. Rich levels of iron and protein in tahini mean that it’s a great option for vegans and vegetarians.

Tahini should be available in your local supermarket, but if not, it can easily be found in health food stores such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Tahini is naturally very thick and is usually separated with the oil at the top of the jar and the paste on the bottom So, for most tahini preparations, you’ll need to stir in a liquid such as olive oil, lemon juice or water to bring it together and make it more pliable.


About This Roasted Beet Tahini Dip Recipe

Rating: 4/5Serves: 4 Appetizer portions Difficulty: MediumApprox. Cost: $17.00
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 1 HourAdditional Time: 10 MinutesTotal Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

The following recipe is a simple preparation of tahini, made by grating roasted beets in with tahini and packing it with great Middle Eastern flavors like mint, toasted cumin, olive oil and lemon. The nutty flavor of the tahini perfectly complements the natural earthiness of the beets and is cut wonderfully by the fresh, clean tastes of lemon and mint.

This roasted beet tahini is very simple and easy to prepare and it makes for a deliciously refreshing dip or spread. Serve it with some toasted pita or fresh vegetables!


Ingredients

  • 2 large red beets, whole (or yellow if you prefer)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • ½ cup (120 grams) of tahini paste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder, lightly toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
  2. Toss the beets in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, just enough to coat the outside.
  3. Wrap the beets in foil with the garlic and thyme, dribble two tablespoons of water over the beets before sealing the foil. This will help the beets steam out of their skin and prevent them from burning.
  4. Place the wrapped beets on a sheet tray in the oven and roast them for one hour.
  5. Remove the beets from the oven, vent the foil and let them cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Use a towel (preferably one you wouldn’t mind getting red beet juice all over) to peel the skin off the beets while they’re still warm.
  7. Grate the beets using a cheese grater.
  8. Combine grated beets with the tahini, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, mint, and cumin in a bowl. Season to taste and check the consistency, you may need to add a little extra olive oil for the desired consistency.

Image: Peter König

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