Friday, July 10, 2009

Beet, Chickpea and Almond Dip

No, this is not a recipe for hot pink play-dough. On the contrary - it's a recipe for a sophisticated, yet simple and healthy dip. This is a great one for parties, as people will scratch their heads trying to figure out what on earth is in that mysterious pink dip.

It's beets, people. Beets. The much-maligned root vegetable that has recently become trendy in upscale restaurants. It's no wonder that beet juice is used to add color and sweetness to other dishes, when you see what happens to it in a food processor.

Even people who think they don't like beets will probably like this dip. It is like a garlicky hummus, only instead of tahini, you have beets and almonds! It's spicy and sweet at once, with a very pleasing smooth texture just waiting to be slathered on a crunchy pita chip.

Beet, Chickpea and Almond Dip
adapted from Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook
makes 2 cups


1 large beet, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more if needed)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper


1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt it and add the beet chunks. Cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and add beet chunks to food processor.

2. Add chickpeas, olive oil, almonds and garlic to food processor and process until smooth. If it's too thick, stream in a smidge more olive oil. Add red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Process again until smooth. Serve with pita chips or fresh pita bread wedges.


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