Beetroot Dip

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Beetroot …. its colour is vivid, its name is like an eclectic type of music to dance to, its taste earthy but versatile and adaptable.  Deeply influenced by Tom Robbins’ novel  ‘Jitterbug perfume’ I have developed this strong belief that beets help build physical, emotional and mental resilience, they feed warriors and lovers, they make you stronger, protect and empower you. I am besotted with this root veg!

This September the beetroot at the two farmers’ markets in Cardiff is gigantic, earthy but deliciously sweet. So make sure you grab some from the local stalls either at Roath or Riverside-don’t miss out on its autumnal delight.

Last weekend golden beetroot was the star guest ingredient of a sweet balsamic vinaigrette salad at our art and dining supper club. A few weeks ago, in the first few weeks of September, a beetroot and carrot soup with caraway seeds warmed us up when the weather suddenly turned cold. And only yesterday I concocted  a Moorish , colourful beetroot dip, which I urge you to try making without reservation. Enjoy the recipe below.

Ingredients
Enough for at least 8 starter portions

  • 500g mixed or red beetroots washed well but not peeled
  • 500gr Greek strained yoghurt
  • 200gr feta cheese
  • 30gr chives
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crashed
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • enough olive oil to make dip smooth (about 1/2 cup)
  • salt and pepper

Preparation
1hour

  1. Roast the beetroot in a hot oven until soft for around forty minutes.
  2. Whilst the beetroot are roasting prepare a paprika and chive yoghurt dip.
  3. Cream the feta cheese with one-third of the olive oil and the vinegar in a food processor (pulse) or in a deep bowl with a spoon.
  4. Add the chopped chives , the crashed garlic , the paprika and cayenne pepper . If added to a food processor pulse again.
  5. Smoothen the cheese base by adding all the Greek yoghurt.  Add another third of the olive oil and stir well.
  6. Remove from the food processor.
  7. Try a bit of the yoghurt base and adjust seasoning according to taste.
  8. After the beetroot is roasted and soft enough allow it to cool enough to peel the skin.
  9. Cream the beetroot in a food processor or chop and mash in a bowl with a fork.
  10. Add the yoghurt dip and as much oil as needs to make it blend well (you might not need any more).
  11. Taste and adjust the seasoning of required.
  12. Serve with carrots, celery or breads.

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