Beet and walnut dip recipe

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This is essentially a muhammara, a pretty traditional Middle Eastern spread. It’s usually made with roasted peppers, but we do it with roasted beets because you get more of an earthiness with that same roasty flavor thanks to roasting the beets, marinating them, and then charring them like taking a beet salad and tossing it in a crushing hot pan. It’s something we’ll get into more in chapter 4 (along with why you shouldn’t be afraid of beets, ’cause they’re delicious), but this basically brings out all of the beets’ natural sugars and caramelizes them. Then they get tossed with some day-old bread (something we’re always trying to use up in one form or another), olive oil, lemon juice, chile, garlic, and pomegranate molasses (or balsamic or saba) and buzzed in a blender.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup leftover roasted and marinated beets
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs (from 1 slice artisan-style bread, such as ciabatta, toasted and torn into pieces)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground Urfa chile, or ¼ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons pomegranate molasses, aged balsamic vinegar (the thick syrupy kind), or saba
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • Grilled bread, crackers, butter lettuce cups, or cut vegetables for serving
How to Make It
    Roast the Beets
  1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the beets, walnuts, and bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet. Place under the broiler and cook until the nuts and bread are toasted and starting to char, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Finish the Dip
  3. Transfer the lot to a food processor or blender along with the garlic, Urfa chile, paprika, lemon juice, oil, pomegranate molasses, salt, and water. Process until the mixture is smooth but still with a bit of texture, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Serve or Store
  5. Serve with good crackers, butter lettuce cups, or fresh veggies or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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