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Za'atar-Spiced Beet Dip with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Beets have a strong presence in the cuisine of almost every ethnic group in Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi explains. They color pickling juices on the Arab table and form the basis for a soup of Jewish, Iraqi and Kurdish origin. Ottolenghi purees them for this luscious spread.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 3 cups

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  • 6 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed

  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 small red chile, seeded and minced

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon za’atar

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • Warm bread, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar and puree. Season with salt. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top and serve with bread.

Suggested Pairing

Earthy, dry rosé: 2011 Domaine Thomas & Fils.

Contributed By Photo © Antonis Achilleos Published September 2012

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