Beetroot & tahini dip

4032This is another lovely party dip, thanks to Nigel Slater. I am shamelessly stealing his photo  as I forgot to photograph my delicious offering last night! He advocates adding dukkah to his dip as per the photo, but it was a  bit fiddly I thought so just made it without. I served it with Japanese rice crackers which are a great favourite and gluten-free! All pronounced it delicious!

Although you can make a quick version of this with ready-cooked beetroot, canned chickpeas and raw garlic, blitzed to a purée in a food processor, this version where you roast the beetroot, garlic and chickpeas together gives a better depth of flavour. Worth the effort, which isn’t much!

Makes a big bowlful of dip
chickpeas 1 x 400g tin
beetroot 500g
garlic 4 cloves
water 100ml
olive oil 3 tbsp

To finish:
tahini 2 tbsp
olive oil 100ml
lemon juice juice of 1 -2 lemons, depending on consistency of dip

Method

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tin with foil, leaving enough to fold over and seal the contents. Rinse the chickpeas in running water then tip them into the foil-lined baking tin. Peel the beetroot then chop each into about six pieces and add them to the chickpeas. Peel the garlic, then tuck among the beetroot. Pour in the water and olive oil, season lightly then fold over the foil and seal by lightly scrunching the edges together. Bake for an hour then open the foil and test for tenderness. If you can’t insert a metal skewer or knife point with the minimum of pressure then return to the oven for a little longer. Mine took 1 1/2 hours in fact.

Transfer the beetroot, garlic, about three-quarters of the chickpeas and any liquid to a food processor and process to a smooth purée. Mix in the tahini, olive oil and lemon juice, then taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if required.  Add more lemon juice or olive oil if the mixture is too thick – you need to be able to dip into it later. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature till required. Refrigeration will make it thicker.

Serve with the remaining chickpeas scattered over.

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