There is a restaurant in Philadelphia called Zahav that serves modern Israeli food. I went there for my birthday last December, and am still thinking about their tasty hummus and absolutely fantastic salatim, a selection of 8 little salads that you scoop up with their house baked laffa. All of the salads were really delicious, but the pureed beet salad was by far the happiest surprise offered. So when my CSA share came with beets this time around, I knew exactly what I was going to make… or try to make at least. I basically made a hummus, substituting in roasted beets for the chickpeas. My version is probably not all that close, to the one served as Zahav but I’m still happy with the results.
1 bunch of beets (mine came with 5)
2 tablespoons tahini
The juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Walnuts, for topping
To roast the beets, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Remove the tops, wash to remove all dirt, and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and add a generous amount of salt.
Cook for 40 minutes or until you can easily stick them with a fork. My beets were on the smaller side, so you may need to up the time to 1 hour.
Allow to cool completely. Remove the skin of the beets by rubbing them with a paper towel. This is surprisingly easy, I promise.
Roughly chop the beets.
Add the beets, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor.
Process until smooth.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with chopped walnuts. Serve with cucumbers, pita, broccoli, cauliflower, or anything else you’d like to dip in this lovely little dish.
If you’d prefer, you can add in a can of rinsed chickpeas to make a beet hummus. Another alternative would be to add some Green yogurt, to taste, to make a creamier version of this dish. Enjoy!