Our supermarkets are filled with cooked, packaged, ready-to-eat beets brought in for Valentine’s Day. While we love fresh-roasted beets, they’re the most time-consuming root vegetables to prepare.
We got the message. We’re using the pre-cooked beets to make Valentine dips and spreads. If you want to roast your own, we salute you.
This recipe, by California chef and author Samin Nosrat, is adapted from one published on BonAppetit.com (and further adapted by us). We received it from Good Eggs in San Francisco, an outstanding grocery delivery service.
Good Eggs recommends it as an addition to a composed salad, a spread for a cheese board or a tangy addition to a sandwich. “Once you start stirring popped mustard seeds into your savory cooking, you’ll never stop,” they assure us.
RECIPE #1: MASHED BEETS WITH MUSTARD SEEDS
Ingredients For 2 Cups
1. HEAT a small pan over medium heat for a minute. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the mustard seeds. Swirl the pan until the mustard seeds begin to pop, cover the pan so the seeds don’t escape, and reduce the heat to low. After about 30 seconds, you’ll hear the popping slow down.
2. REMOVE the pan from the heat and let the seeds cool, uncovered, for a minute or two. Cut the beets into large chunks and place them in the bowl of a food processor, along with the garlic. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. You can use a potato masher if you prefer it to a food processor: The mashed beets will be a much rougher texture (like hand-mashed potatoes) but still fine for all purposes.
3. ADD the popped mustard seeds, yogurt, a big squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
RECIPE #2: BEET YOGURT DIP, SPREAD OR TOPPING
This is the yogurt to whip up for Valentine’s Day. You can make it with any color of beets, but save the orange and yellow for another occasion and use red beets. You can make the recipe a day in advance.
Use beet yogurt as a dip, a spread, or as a topping—for baked potatoes, cottage cheese, grains, veggies, sandwiches, etc.
Ingredients For 6 Servings
If you want to roast your own beats, follow the first three steps. Otherwise, skip to Step 4.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F.
2. SCRUB and trim the beets, but leave the skins on. Place them in a small baking pan or casserole and fill it with 1/2″ hot water. Sprinkle with salt, cover with a piece of parchment paper, and then cover dish tightly with foil.
3. ROAST the beets until tender, about 1 hour. Remove them from the baking pan and let them cool until they are comfortable to grasp. Then, using a paper towel, rub off the skins.
5. COVER and chill the yogurt for 3 hours or overnight for the flavors to meld.
1. CUT each pita round into 6 wedges and place them on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt as desired.
2. BAKE for 5 minutes or until crisp.