How often do you cook with fresh beetroot? Until recently, I must admit that my beetroot consumption was mostly restricted to the the canned, hamburger-friendly variety. It’s just not one of those ingredients I ever thought to cook much with. But thanks to a weekly delivery of 3-4 huge beetroot, I’ve been forced to get creative.
Three months ago I signed up for an organic fruit and vegetable box to be delivered to my house every week. I figured it would save me time shopping, and I was interested to compare the organic produce with the regular stuff I was buying from my local grocer.
I’ve been very impressed with the quality, but because you’re choosing from seasonal, organic produce, the variety is limited (which is entirely the point). I’ve forgotten to customise my box most weeks, so I’ve been receiving a regular mixed box. I’ve actually enjoyed the surprises I find each week as different things come into season. I have cooked with ingredients I would probably otherwise overlook, and I’ve made many recipes I’ve never made before.
Case in point is this roasted beetroot dip with sumac pita crisps. I’ve tested a few different beetroot dips, but this was the simplest by far. It’s easily adaptable – I like fetta or parmesan cheese scattered over the top, and you can switch in different nuts or leave them out altogether. The colour is absolutely gorgeous and the kids have all given it a try (admittedly only one liked it, but that’s better than none, right?).
The idea for sumac crisps just came to me as I was reorganising my spice cupboard, and the lemony hint of sumac works beautifully with the beetroot dip. I think the same technique would also work well with zata’ar, one of my favourite spice blends. If you’re enjoying a long weekend like we are here, this might be just the thing to pop on your afternoon plate of nibbles.
- 500g raw beetroot, left whole and unpeeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- ½ garlic clove, crushed
- ½ cup natural Greek-style yoghurt
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus extra for oven
- 60g walnuts
- 1 large wholemeal pita bread
- olive oil spray
- sea salt
- Heat the oven to 180C. Drizzle oil over beetroot. Sprinkle over salt and wrap in foil. Roast for 1 hour, until soft.
- To make sumac pitta crisps, slice pita bread into eighths and separate each slice. Place pitta slices on greased oven tray. Spray with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sumac and salt. Bake in 180C oven for 5 minutes, until browned and crispy. Remove and set aside.
- When cool enough to handle, remove skin from beetroot. Quarter and place in a Thermomix or food processor with olive oil, garlic, yoghurt, salt, and walnuts and mix for 20 seconds/speed 9 until smooth. If using a processor, blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve with sumac pita crisps.