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beet

Roasted Beet Hummus

Roasted Beet Hummus

For an instant boom of color, toss in a beet.

Add it to your pasta. Your tabbouleh. Or your hummus, as showcased here.

Just a few roasted cubes will do the trick.

Roasted Beet Hummus

I make hummus often. While it’s always a crowdpleaser, it can also feel unimaginative.

And yet, when it’s hot pink, it can easily outshine all other appetizers at a dinner party.

Cumin

Beets’ earthy flavor is quite powerful, so start with 1/4 cup. If you desire more color, you can add from there.

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Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Does soup get any more gorgeous than this? I knew immediately after seeing this on Dishing Up the Dirt that I needed to whip up this vibrant creation for my own spoon and bowl.

Beets always yield such beauty.

Beets

Beets really do lend themselves well to easily dazzling up a dinner. Here are a few past favorites that deck out the kitchen table in red: Pickled Beets, Smoky Black Bean and Beet Burgers with Herb Yogurt Sauce, Purple Summer Tabbouleh.

I’m adding this soup to the list.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beyond feeling decadent from pure looks alone, this soup has a nice earthy flavor that gets complimented by some rather stellar toppings. First, there’s the tahini. You can almost always count me in for tahini-topped anything, and it’s creamy combination with beets is no different. This particular sauce adds a slight lemony-tang to the sweet beets, and is absolutely perfect with the specks of parsley you’ll catch on most bites. Feel free to omit the allspice from the sauce – it’ll add subtle, but not mandatory, notes of flavor.

Beets

Then, there’s the za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern herb and spice blend that is speckled with sesame seeds. Toasted in a pan with pine nuts, it takes on this woodsy flavor that’s hard to describe as anything but unique. Here, it adds an easy punch of flavor that allows this soup to remain simple to make, and to rely on the freshness of its garden ingredients.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

But enough words already. Likely, if you’re going to make this soup, it was its visual representation that snagged your eye. Bring its beauty to your own bowl, might I suggest alongside a crusty, toasty slice of bread.

Beets

P.S. Stop by Andrea’s blog, Dishing Up the Dirt, if you get the chance. It’s a winner.

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Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

I’ve been writing a recipe column for Today’s Dietitian, and September’s edition features a somewhat controversial veggie from my childhood days  the beet.

Grated beets

As I wrote in my column, the discord stems primarily from parents with rather differing opinions about the beautiful, but dangerous, late summer vegetable. You see,

“Beets were my mom’s worst nightmare. The juice stained her cutting boards, tie-dyed her kids’ white T-shirts, and left her scrubbing the kitchen counters until her hands turned pink. On the other hand, beets were my dad’s favorite vegetable. They were one of his continuously best-growing crops in the family garden. He loved nothing more than staining his hands as he pulled the beets out of the ground each year, and he had an affinity for their taste that my mom couldn’t match. And unfortunately, my mom had cleaning skills that my dad couldn’t match, so every summer there was a comical bone of contention that surrounded beets.”

This had always left me unsettled about my own opinions for beets. I’ve always enjoyed, but not longed, for their flavor, and I’ve always sort of shied away from the mess they tend to create.

However, in recent years, I’ve developed a newfound love.

Smoky Black Bean Burgers With Herb Yogurt Sauce

After one small one went into this recipe for tabbouleh, I was sold. That color! It’s flavor in the dish was not super memorable, but the hue it lent to the entire bowl certainly was. From then on, I would find ways to employ the beet’s beautiful color, and do so in a way that wouldn’t destroy my counters. And white t-shirts, because unfortunately, mom isn’t buying those anymore.

This recipe for Smoky Black Bean Burgers utilizes the food processor to keep the mess at a bay, while enabling beets to add color to a veggie burger that’s hard to forget. Here, the veggie adds adds a hint of sweetness that goes perfectly with the smoky paprika, as well as the parsley herb sauce that tops it all off. (Note, feel free to use any summer herb that sounds good to you. I vote for basil as an alt.)

Head on over to the digital edition of the mag for the recipe! 

Vegan Beet Almond Pesto

Vegan Beet Almond Pesto

I’ve never utilized beets as much as I have in this past year. I told you in my last recipe post, beets and I have this whole love-hate relationship going on. And it’s not just a consequence of their stain power.

Their taste is simply not something I crave, at least in large doses. I do enjoy a few roasted beets now and then, and a little grated raw on top of my salads. I find though that a little goes a long way.

What I like most about beets is their color. And here, too, a little goes a long way. (Hello gorgeous pink tabbouleh!) Just one beet was needed to create that vibrant bowl above.

Basil

I make a ton of pesto in the summer, both to eat and to freeze. It’s always so beautiful while spinning away in the food processor. And smells so good, too.

Slow it down, however, and it’ll undress itself from its vibrant green outfit faster than you can get it into a bowl. The air cuts right to the chase. Brownish or not, it still tastes great, but I always find it to be a slightly disappointing sight.

With many recent beet successes, I decided to keep running with the ingredient. Slowly, I’m discovering, perhaps I do love beets after all. How can you not love the site of that pesto up above? Rather than swapping out the basil, I simply added a beet to a variation of my traditional vegan pesto recipe. It by no means becomes the main flavor dominator in this pesto. It will, however, add a small hint of sweet earthiness, and a large dose of stunning, disappointment-free color.

The following makes enough for just over 1 box of pasta. I like to always have a little extra to store in the fridge for sandwich spreads and other various uses.

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