Have you ever actually served crudites at a party? I mean, like actually put out a plate of just sliced vegetables and that mediocre ranch dip that always seems to go with it? I’ve always been more of a I-must-create-something-new-and-exciting kind of hostess, but I grew up in a household that often falls back on the good old crudites platter, sans the ranch. In my mind, that always meant "boring!"
As much as I love crunching on delicious raw veggies, I know it’s not necessarily everyone’s style. That and I’ve always hated the look of those dried out carrot sticks on old trays (I know you know exactly what I mean). So I've never been a big crudites hostess. That is, until this past November, when I discovered the secret to making a crudites platter disappear; surround the plain vegetables with amazing (and preferably healthy) dips!
This particular dip is inspired by a dish I had at Zahav, a Philadelphia restaurant serving modern Israeli food. I love everything about it; the color, the taste, the color, the distinct beet-ness without being overpoweringly sweet, the color, how it goes with everything, and did I mention the color?
|OMG SO MUCH COLOR|
But seriously, this dip combines tahini (which I love), beets, and a splash of lemon and a touch of garlic to round it all out. It tastes like beets without being sweet (trust me, it’s possible), and it is oh so addictive. And that’s totally ok because it’s also oh so good for you. So go ahead, serve those raw veggies. Stick a bowl of this next to them and see how quickly those crudites go!
|This is totally coming to work with me|
Adapted from Taste of Beirut, makes 2 cups
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup tahini
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F
Preheat oven to 400F
1. Wash and trim, but don’t peel, the beets, then wrap each one in tin foil and toss it in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until a knife can easily pierce each beet. Once the beets have cooled enough to handle, rub them with your thumbs and the skins should come off easily.
2. Roughly chop the beets and the garlic and put both in the bowl of a food processor. Give them a quick pulse to start breaking down the beets.
3. Add the tahini and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as desired. Serve cold or room temperature with crackers or raw vegetables.