Beetroot & white bean dip

The first time I made this dip for a large number of people it was because I wanted to serve something different from hummus or baba ganoush for the office Monday morning tea. I like to serve healthy food when it’s my turn to cater morning tea, and dips and veggies are my way of getting nutrients into my colleagues by stealth! I was crowned queen of dips for this one, so I pull it out as and when I feel like treating people πŸ˜‰

If you’re looking for a failsafe dip to impress at a party, or just something tasty and different to dip your veggies and crackers in, give this one a go. The recipe is so simple you can have it up your sleeve for any occasion, and be certain of making some tastebuds smile πŸ˜€

Flavour:Β Mellow & sweet

Serves:Β as many as you want! If you start small, with proportions for one beetroot, this is enough for a dip for a small party, or as an element of a starter for 4-6 people, or enough to pop in the fridge and dip into with crackers as you like it for about a week πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 cup white beans, soaked and boiled (see here for how, and how long)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • half teaspoon salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • half cup water

Optional extras:

  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • a drizzle of olive oil, to garnish
  • a sprinkle of toasted pinenuts, to garnish (amateur tip: toasting your pinenuts brings out the flavour – don’t miss out by leaving them raw!)

note: these quantities can be scaled. If you want to make double the quantity of dip, simply double the quantity of each of the other ingredients, and it will taste the same πŸ™‚

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop your beetroot into quarters, and then cut each quarter in half, giving you eight chunks.
  2. Place beetroot chunks on baking tray, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and rub oil and salt into beetroot chunks.
  3. Roast in oven, with 1 clove of garlic (unpeeled, unchopped) for 40-45 minutes, turning once at about the half-way mark.
  4. Once your beetroot chunks are well roasted (they should be soft enough for a knife to glide through without any pressure), pull them out of the oven – now you’re ready for business!
  5. Pop your soaked, pre-cooked white beans into your blender with half a teaspoon of salt, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoon of tanini. Blitz on a low speed – this should only take about 20 seconds before you have a lovely smooth paste, as your beans should be very soft after pre-cooking.
  6. Once you have a smooth bean paste, peel your roasted garlic, and add it to your bean paste in the blender. You don’t need to chop or mash it, as it’ll be so thoroughly softened through roasting that the texture will be as mellow as the flavour πŸ™‚
  7. Then add your beetroot chunks to the blender 2-3 at a time, blitzing until well blended. You will need to add water little by little to keep the paste fairly loose so it keeps blending well. You’ll also need to push wayward dip back down the sides of your blender so everything gets incorporated. Keep adding your beetroot chunks and water until it’s all fully incorporated. You might need more or less than the half cup of water suggested – use your own judgment as to whether you need more or less (if it’s very thick and not blending well, add more; if it’s fairly loose and blending easily, don’t add more as this will make it runny… no one likes runny dip πŸ˜› ).
  8. Your dip is done when it’s all blended smoothly. You shouldn’t be able to see any chunks of beetroot, and your dip will be a gorgeous hot-pink colour, and a spreadable consistency that doesn’t drip when you dip into it.
  9. Et voila – you’re basically done. This is when yo do a taste-test and decide whether you think your dip needs a little extra salt, tahini or lemon juice, and whether you want to add a grind of black pepper to it. It’s entirely up to you, as tastes differ. I like mine with a lot of oomph, so more lemon juice and tahini often make their way into my concoction πŸ™‚
  10. Once your dip is seasoned to your taste, decant it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge until you intend to use it.
    • Amateur tip: take the dip out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you intend to serve it, as it’s best eaten at room temperature (cold impairs flavour).
    • Amateur tip: this looks really pretty served in a black dish with a swirl of olive oil on top, and sprinkled with toasted pinenuts.

Serve with freshly cooked, warm flatbread for best effect on your guests πŸ™‚ Also great served as a simple meal or entree with spice-rubbed roasted carrots or spiced roasted cauliflower ❀

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