In my book, good meals should always consist of creative, colorful and – DUH – delicious vegetable dishes. They bring balance and harmony to every meal. That’s right, strict carnivores. Your lame excuses are even lamer now in their old age. Vegetables are simply the BEYUST – if only for their divine capacity to complement and even amplify flavors. It is a rarity indeed when I have a meal without at least one vegetable side dish.
In the root vegetable family, beets are easily the prettiest. And it is not unknown that roasting them brings out an earthy meatiness to the root that makes it SUPER satisfying. Feel free to make this dish with yellow beets too and play around with what you put on top. Other garnishes that have worked really well for me include pomegranate, pine nuts, basil, walnuts, pecans, you name it! You can put nearly anything on top of these beets and they will taste great. The secret is that garlicky, creamy tzaziki. It adds such a bold flavor profile.
- 5 beets, rinsed
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed and roughly chopped
- 2 cups whole plain Greek yogurt (or labneh)
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tblsp freshly chopped dill
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Persian cucumbers, finely grated
- fresh mint and dill to garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rinse and dry the beets and wrap each one individually in tinfoil. Make sure there are no holes. Place in the oven and let roast for 30-40 minutes. You know they’re done when you open them up, stick one with a knife and it slides in easily.
2. While the beets are roasting, make the tzaziki. In a bowl place the Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon, salt and cucumbers. Mix and season well with salt. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Remove the beets from the oven and let cool. Remove the skin and slice each 1/4 inch thick. Spread a generous layer of tzaziki on the bottom of a plate. Layer the sliced beets on top. Scatter the toasted hazelnuts and fresh herbs on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. A good pinch of salt and the dish is ready.
note: This dish is perfect for prepping in advance. You can roast the beets and make the tzaziki up to two days in advance. Great for dinner parties or brunch.