Beets have a strong presence in the cuisine of almost every ethnic group in Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi explains. They color pickling juices on the Arab table and form the basis for a soup of Jewish, Iraqi and Kurdish origin. Ottolenghi purees them for this luscious spread.
6 (medium; 1 1/2 pounds) beets, trimmed
2 cloves (small) garlic, minced
1 (small) red chile, seeded and minced
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon za'atar
1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and chopped
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Warm bread, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za'atar and puree. Season with salt. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top and serve with bread.