Tahini Beet Salad

beet salad with pitaFolks, I have to be honest – I came late to the beet party. I know, I know, they’re supposed to be amazing, but I never really got them, you know? I always thought they were a little slimy and, of course, suspiciously fuchsia, a color I think vegetables ought not to be. Through my farm share I learned to tolerate them as long as they were well-roasted, or crisped into chips, but I was still sort of hanging out on the porch of the beet party, not really sure I wanted to join in on the supposed fun inside. But now I am dancing on the table with my hands in the air, because I am drunk on the bliss that is Tahini Beet Salad.

I discovered this magical combination on a recent trip to Philadelphia, when the husband and I had dinner at Zahav restaurant. I raised my eyebrows when the server explained that one of the salad options laid before us contained beets; I was skeptical, to say the least, that this slimy root would be anything more than mediocre to my taste buds, even in the hands of a competent chef. Two minutes later I was begging for the recipe, or at least the ingredients so I could try to recreate it at home. I’m happy to say I’ve achieved a passable imitation, so now that we are fully in root vegetable season, I urge you to make it as soon as you can rustle up some beets from your local farmer’s market!

 

Tahini Beet Salad

Makes four 1/2 cup servings
Per serving: 150 calories; 14 carbs; 10g fat; 4g protein; 116g sodium; 8g sugar

beet chunksIngredients

  • 1 lb beets, tops and bottoms cut off, skinned, and cut into chunks
  • salt to taste
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 T tahini
  • any herbs you have on hand (I was trying to use up some parsley so I used that)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, toss beet chunks with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous amount of salt.

Spread beet mixture onto a large piece of aluminum foil; fold ends in and over to make a sealed packet.

Roast beets for 40 minutes, until relatively tender. I usually just throw this packet in while I am cooking something else (a squash, lasagna, casserole, whatever – even if it’s not 400 degrees it’s no big deal).

beet salad in food processorRemove beets from oven and let cool.

Add beets, any herbs you are using, and 1 minced garlic clove to food processor; pulse until chopped.

Add lemon juice and tahini; stir with a spoon or pulse a few times until combined.

Add salt/pepper to taste.

Serve with warm pita bread, crackers, or veggies.

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