Moro East is definitely a current favorite cookbook around my kitchen. Every recipe I’ve made has been utterly delicious. And pretty much every single one I’ve thought sounded a little weird. Pumpkin Pistou? F-ing amazing. So I know nothing and this is why it’s good to get new cookbooks from time to time.
I actually bought it in Australia, at this lovely little cookbook store (yes! a whole store of only cookbooks!) on Gertrude Street in Melbourne. And while you can order it from the comfort of your own computer via Amazon, I felt compelled to buy it IN AUSTRALIA as a souvenir of a delicious dinner we had at Añada. Apparently one of the co-owners is also involved in Moro (in London). Good enough connection for me. I’d had my eye on the book for months before our trip so, you know, all I needed was a teeny push in the right direction and the credit card was out.
The point of this post is the beet dip. And like some of the other recipes I’ve tried from this book, I was a teensy bit skeptical. Beets with tahini. Hmm. Sounded at least more interesting than Whole Foods hummus. The first time I made it was for Melanie’s shower and it turned out to be the culinary rage of the party. Serve it with crudite and maybe some toasty flatbread and cheese. Oh my.
Beet dip with tahini
(From Moro East, with a few additions/changes by moi)
Preheat oven to 400.
600 g raw beets (i would say that’s like 6-8 medium beets? I didn’t weigh mine, but eyeballing it seemed to work. If you’re anal, the kitchen scale is your friend)
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
6 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T tahini
3-4 T chopped fresh mint (depending on how minty you like your dip)
2 t red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 medium lemon
sea salt and pepper
The actual recipe calls for boiled beets. I’ve never boiled beets before and I do love them roasted so I decided to roast mine for this recipe. I’m sure you could boil them with great success, but I’ll proceed with the roasting.
Actually, I’m not going to type out the roasting instructions again. You can see them in my Beet Salad post last month. So… roast and peel the beets.
Coarsely chop them and transfer them to the food processor. Add garlic, olive oil, and tahini and whiz in the processor until you have a nice semi-smooth puree. Then add the mint, lemon, vinegar, salt and pepper and whiz for one moment more. You can probably do it all at once, but I like to imagine that the fresher tastes bubble to the surface when you separate the whizzing. The Moro recipe has you mix the mint, vinegar, salt and pepper in by hand, but I say if you have the processor out, use it for everything.
Taste. (You will die). Add more salt, pepper, or lemon if you like. And voila!
The lemon is my addition, so if you’d like to stick to the real recipe, leave it out. And I added more mint than they call for, but I love mint and herby tastes.