This dip is really two dips in one. When we decided to make Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip from The Moosewood Restaurant Table, by the Moosewood Collective, we thought it might be nice to make part of the dip from red beets, and part from yellow beets, and swirl the two dips together. But, we didn’t want to ruin the color of the yellow dip by adding walnuts and mint, so we made two versions. And, being the nice folk that we are, we’ll tell you how to make both.
We also modified the recipe for the red beets just a bit, using sour cream in place of Greek-style yogurt (and a little less, too), and omitting the cayenne pepper (we simply forgot to add a pinch) and sliced scallions (another memory lapse).
When we buy beets, we like to get the ones that have the beet greens still attached. Beet greens are tasty (cook like spinach), so, getting whole beets is like getting two vegetables for the price of one. Since we eat the greens, we try to buy organic, too. As we pointed out in yesterday’s post, we recommend organic sour cream, simply because there aren’t any weird-sounding ingredients in it.
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 400°F. if you need to, you can quickly toast the walnuts in the oven while the beets are roasting. Just place them on a baking sheet and toast for 7-10 minutes, or until the skins start to peel off.
Roast beets. Wash and trim the beets, then rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and wrap in foil, keeping the yellow beets in one foil packet and the red beets in another packet. Place on a rimmed baking sheet to contain leaks, and bake for 45-75 minutes, or until tender and are pierced easily with a sharp knife. The exact time depends on the size of the beets.
Cool and peel. Let the beets cool in their foil packets until you can handle them. Unwrap and simply rub off the skins, and rinse to remove any small pieces of skin that stick.
Process. We recommend you process the yellow beets first. That way you can process the red beets immediately after with no cleaning of the food processor. Any remaining yellow will blend in with the red, not modifying the color, but, if you do it the other way around, well, you might get an off-yellow color. If your beets are cool enough that they won’t melt the sour cream, simply place all the ingredients (note the different colors use different ingredients) in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
Swirl. You’ll probably do a better job of swirling together the two dips than we did, so place the two dips side by side in a bowl and use a spatula to swirl the colors together.
We loved the color and taste of both dips. The red did have a more complex flavor, with the walnuts and mint, but the yellow, even being mainly beets, was quite good, too. You can’t beat beets for bright vibrant colors; plus, they have a nice sweet taste that goes well with salty foods. We tried this dip on a small piece of bread as a little taste test and thought that this would also make a nice spread. Five stars.