My husband does not like beets. I often get them in my Talley Farms CSA box so I tend to make beet dishes when I am going to events without him or inviting the ladies over. I saw this intriguing beet recipe in the cookbook that I was studying for Cookbook Club and decided, what a perfect time to utilize my beets and try something new!
The book I was working in was to be an inspiration for my upcoming trip to Israel this spring. It is a cookbook written by the chef/owners of an Israeli restaurant in Philadephia called Zahav, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. The book itself is exquisite and I have found the recipes to be quite wonderful. I have many more to explore within it’s covers, but so far this beet recipe has been the cream of the crop! It is said that they have served it to over half a million happy customers at their restaurant and I can see how.
Vegetables are certainly magnificent for both their quality of freshness and documented health benefits. What makes them even more divine sometimes is the color they exhibit. This recipe using red beets, shows off the most incredible bright purple color that just makes you want to dive into it with abandon. And once you do, the taste is so sensational that it could clearly turn any beet naysayer into a lover!
The base of the dish is a basic sauce that Michael uses for many of his recipes. It is called the Basic Tehina Sauce and is tahini based with the addition of lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt. This sauce is added to the beets with additional lemon juice, fresh herbs and olive oil. The beets are roasted, nestled in a seal of kosher salt. The result is spectacular!
Yield: 4 cups
- 5 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 8 medium beets
- 1/2 cup Basic Tehina Sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or more to taste
- 1//4 cup fresh dill, chopped + more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped + more for garnish
- 1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups organic tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Tehina Sauce: Blend the garlic, lemon juice & 1/2 teaspoon salt into a course puree. Let it stand for 10 min. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing solids to get as much liquid as possible. Add the tahini to the liquid adding the cumin and remaining salt. Whisk together until smooth. Add ice water, a few tablespoons at a time to thin it out. Keep adding water (about 1 1/2 cups total) and whisking until its a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce. Season to taste with additional salt or cumin. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spread 1 cup of the salt in an ovenproof skillet or baking dish. Put the beets on the salt and cover with remaining 4 cups salt. Bake until the beets are tender, about 90 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the beets and peel. Cool completely.
- Grate the beets into a mixing bowl using the course holes of a box grater. Add the tehina sauce, oil, lemon juice, dill and mint and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature garnished with additional dill and mint.
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