Monday, July 16, 2012

We Got the Beet... Dip - Very Pink Dip Recipe

We Got the Beat... Dip
We were almost out of Pink Dip, and it had been such a hit, I was actually looking forward to getting another bunch of them at my next CSA pickup. So naturally, they didn't have any that week. Or the next. So Z acquiesced to trying beets in the dip instead. 
Since I know nothing about them, I first looked up how to roast beets, as roasting the radishes had met with much success. I changed the recipe up a bit, since I had some green garlic and chives from my CSA.

Very Pink Dip

1 bunch beets
8-oz package cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (less fat, without tasting like ass the funky taste that reduced fat cream cheese seems to have)
1/4 c (or more) plain Greek yogurt (regular yogurt or sour cream would work fine as well)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 green garlic bulb and stem (cut off where the leaves begin separating off,) OR 2 cloves garlic, OR 2 tsp pre-minced garlic
1 tsp salt
Any other seasoning you enjoy and think would taste good - they didn't have any fresh basil freebies this time, so I added 2 Tbsp chopped chives instead.

Preheat oven to 375 F

Step 1: Wash, scrub and trim beets (cut off tops and bottoms, if applicable.) To cut down on cooking time, cut beets into halves and/or quarters to get pieces roughly the size of two garlic cloves.
Step 2: Lay out a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and place beet pieces in the middle. Wrap ends and sides around to make an easily-opened bundle.
Step 3: Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes. Open bundle and poke at the larger pieces with a fork. If they are tender enough to be easily pierced, they're ready. If not, poke at smaller ones and remove any that seem done. Cook remaining at 5 minute increments, checking for done-ness until they're all done.

Step 4: After cooled enough to touch, use your fingers to rub the peel away. (It's surprisingly fun! And finger-stainy.)
(Steps 1-4 can be done in advance, and roasted beets stored in air-tight container in the fridge for several days before using.)

Step 5: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, or mix and chop with an immersion blender. Blend well.
The Verdict:
Hubby, who was allergic to beets as a child, but discovered he had outgrown it, liked it, despite teasing me about trying to kill him.
I enjoyed it as well, and would make it again. Although the color is certainly jarring. It looks unreal!
Z, on the other hand, thought it was too spicy. I'm guessing the green garlic was a sharper flavor than the jarred minced garlic I had used in my Pink Dip. And the chives were a new flavor for her, and different than the fresh basil we'd used before. Since I'm highly sensitive to "hot" spices (I can taste a single fleck of pepper, and feel everywhere it touches in my mouth and throat) I respect her sensitivities and honor her judgement on whether a flavor is too strong for her. Especially since she had loved the Pink Dip and had been looking forward to this one, I doubted she was just trying to weasel out of having to eat this in the future.

Waste Not, Want Not
After chopping off the greens, I used some in my Beets and Sweets gnocchi, and a Veggie-Ham Bake.

I saved the peels, tops, and bottoms from the radishes themselves, and chopped them up and left them soaking in a little bit of water. I microwaved them, covered for a minute or so, then stirred them and let them sit. Then I drained the water into a little glass jar and did it again. Added more water in with the beet bits, microwave, stir, sit, drain. I did this until my jar was full of red beet juice. Since I was still getting red dye seeping into the water, I kept going!
As I went along, the dirt still on the beet bits started rising to the top as the water bubbled in the microwave. It dried onto the side of the bowl, in a ring above the fluid line. So that was a nice side effect, since I apparently hadn't done a thorough enough scrub job when I started!
When I finally got bored (long before the red color was completely drained out of my beet bits!) I dumped them all with some more water in a small resealable container to soak until I felt like dealing with them again.

When I was ready, I poured all the dyed water into a pan and set the stove to Medium-High (7-8) to gently boil and reduce off the water to make the dye more concentrated. Time varies based on heat setting and how much liquid you have. I kind of went until it looked thicker and slower, like syrup.

1 comment:

  1. YUM! I ♥ Beets! I'm definitely going to try this one!

    ~ Shannon @ Molly's Lunch Box


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