As the title suggests: beets, creamy feta cheese & tahini paste were the key ingredients in this magenta dip. To enhance & balance beet’s earthy, sweetness I added fresh lemon juice, garlic (of course), smoky cumin & Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. Topped off with a drizzle of olive oil & some toasted pine nuts. And I have to say, this beet, feta & tahini dip will elevate the most humble of vegetables.
Although I love the idea of roasting my own beets for this, I cheated a little & used pickled beets, for two reasons: speed & flavor. Feel free to use either, no judges here if you do like I did & open a jar of pickled beets. Both roasted & pickled are good – I’ve made it using both. A photo of lovely fresh beets was in order though because I had some in the fridge for juicing.
Dips usually get overlooked as being little more than a snack or something to serve with a beer. But I often enjoy them for lunch because it allows me to consume more raw veggies in one sitting than I could without slathering them in dip first. Some veggies, like radishes, don’t even require any chopping. It’s my lazy lunch & I love it, regardless of whether it’s this beet, feta & tahini dip, a good hommus, creamy spinach dip or a garlicy tzatziki.
When I buy bunches of radishes, normally the first thing I do when I get them home is to snip off all their green tops, then put them in a jar with a screw-top lid. This way they stay fresh, longer. Radishes left in a plastic bag with their tops still attached end up with the tops rotting & it’s quite gross. Then you have to chuck out the whole bag. This way, the radishes will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the jar.
Whether you’re enjoying this salad for lunch, like I do, or perhaps adding it to a summer menu for friends, like so many of my recipes, this is make-ahead & I think it’s actually better then next day. If you are serving it to guests, keep the veggies a little rustic – tops on small carrots & radishes. Long strips of crispy, little cucumbers. Some crusty, artisan bread. Whole green onions. Even baby turnips. Until next time, keep eating those veggies!
- 16 oz (450g) jar sliced or whole pickled beets
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup tahini paste
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- a good pinch salt & freshly ground pepper
- olive oil, toasted pine nuts & veggies, to serve
- Drain beets, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Place beets & the reserved liquid into a blender or food processor.
- Add feta, yogurt, tahini, juice, garlic, cumin, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Spoon dip into a serving bowl or dollop & swirl some onto a board.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with pine nuts & serve with raw veggies.