Honey roasted beets are served on a bed of whipped goat cheese yogurt dip and sprinkled with dukkah.
I like a dish that does double duty, one that works for any occasion or meal, and this little number does just that.
It’s just as delicious as an appetizer served alongside some toasted pita chips, or part of a large mezze platter. I’ve also served it as a side with a casual meal or even just enjoyed it as an afternoon snack, because it’s the kind of dish you whip up just as easily for yourself as you do for company.
What we have here is a bit of a mash up of Middle Eastern cuisine. The beets with yogurt are a riff on a Persian dish where cooked beets are folded into yogurt that’s common in Iran, while the dukkah nut and spice topping has its roots in Egyptian cuisine.
The starting point is a creamy blend of yogurt and goat cheese that’s been whipped together until thick and smooth. I top that with a layer of generously caramelized honey roasted beets. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that roasting certainly improves most vegetables, but especially so with beets, concentrating the natural sweetness and giving them an almost candy-like quality. I like to slice them thinly so they cook quickly and evenly and then spread them out onto a bed of the goat cheese yogurt dip.
Yogurt and goat cheese are excellent partners for beets, their creamy tartness contrasts wonderfully with the natural sweetness of beets.
Next comes a sprinkling of dukkah, if you’ve never had dukkah before, you may want to make a little extra because you’ll soon be tempted to sprinkle it on everything. The aromatic nut and spice mixture is irresistible on just about anything you can think of, from roasted vegetables to cheese to bread. I’ve made mine with pistachios because I like how it works with the beets but hazelnuts are more traditional. It just adds a nice bit of earthy and nutty complexity to the yogurt and beets.
Add a swig of olive oil and a swirl of honey to top and you’re all set!
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