Adapted from this Tejal Rao recipe in The New York Times
A few changes I’ve made:
- I don’t peel the beets.
- I use almonds in place of the walnuts, only because I always have almonds on hand.
- I use Greek yogurt in place of labneh, again, only because I always have it on hand.
Pomegranate Molasses: I like the Cortas brand. Many grocery stores now carry pomegranate molasses, but you may want to call ahead before to make a visit to be sure. If you live locally, Nora’s in Albany carries the Cortas pomegranate molasses.
Almonds or other nuts: I’ve been toasting 1.25 cups sliced almonds in a large dry skillet over medium to low heat until the nuts are evenly golden. 1 cup goes into the dip; 1/4 cup is used for garnish.
Greek Yogurt: I love the Fage 5% Greek yogurt. I season it with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and beat it with a spoon to lighten its texture a bit before spreading it over the platter.
Lemon: If you don’t want to waste the zest of the lemon you are juicing, zest it before juicing it, and set it aside. I prefer zesting the lemon right over the tip — I just find it easier — but I understand wanting to zest the lemon before juicing it for conservation purposes.
- 1/2 lb. beets (2-3 small-is or 1–2 medium), ends trimmed, roughly chopped
- 1 cup almonds (sliced or whole), toasted in a dry skillet (see notes above), plus extra for garnish
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, plus zest for garnishing, see notes above
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, plus more to taste, see notes above
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup labneh or Greek yogurt, for serving, see notes above
- Torn pita, for serving
- 3 Persian cucumbers, quartered, for serving
- Put the beets, toasted almonds, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, chile flakes, garlic, and salt into a food processor or blender. Purée on high until beets and nuts are finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, and blend again, until the mixture is very smooth—you may have to repeat this stopping and scraping process several times to get the mixture as smooth as possible.
- Add the olive oil — I like to add this in a steady stream via the tiny hole of the food pusher insert — and blend again, scraping down the sides, until mixture forms a mostly smooth purée. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, additional lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses, if desired. (I’ve consistently been using 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice and adding a pinch more salt to taste.)
- Spoon labneh or Greek yogurt (seasoned if desired, see note above) into a bowl, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. (Note: You do not have to spread all of the yogurt and all of the dip onto a platter at once — I’ve been assembling small plates of this; then stashing the remainder in the fridge.) Spread the beet dip over top, smoothing again with the back of a spoon. Top with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Zest a lemon over top. Sprinkle with chopped or crushed toasted almonds; top with reserved lemon zest. Serve with pita and cucumbers for dipping.
- Extra dip can be store in the fridge for as long as a week.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Food Processor
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: beets, raw, dip, food processor, pomegranate molasses