Roasted Beets & Labneh

It just wouldn’t be fair to my taste buds (and to all my readers) if I neglected beets the way I used to.Poor, sweet little beets. It’s très tragic but true; I used to avoid them like the plague.

Beets are pretty earthy in flavor, but dammit if their dazzling juices didn’t produce some of the most vibrant hues out there. Beet hummus?  Killin’ the color game.

This dish is about as pretty as it gets when it comes to presentation. But, sort of like when I found out Natalie Portman graduated from Harvard- this one has more going for it than just its incredibly sexy exterior.  Take my word for it.

If you’re trying to dream up something to serve friends as an appetizer (or just get fancy for yourself during lunch), quit scouring the internet for another caprese salad recipe and just make this. No offense to caprese, doe.

The delectable smoky juices from these roasted beets ooze into the creamy labneh enriching it with layers of gorgeous dark pink color and a unique smoky flavor. The fresh cucumber and hot pepper offer your mouth a crisp crunch and the tahini drizzle and dill top it off with a final dash of “hell yes.”

As for me? I’m busier than I’ve ever been, working harder than I ever have, and waking up early/staying up super late prepping to conquer the Registered Dietitian exam next month.

ONWARD.

Roasted Beets & Labneh 

Makes: 2 servings 

  • 6 small beets, greens removed (pick the smallest ones you can find!)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup labneh (middle eastern yogurt cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 cucumber (I used a lemon cucumber, but any works), sliced thinly
  • 1/4 jalapeno (I used a red jalapeno but any works), sliced thinly
  • Small handful of fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  1. First you want to cook the beets, since they take the longest. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse and pat dry your beets, then space out evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, then place another sheet of foil on top to cover all beets. Use your hands to pinch top and bottom foil pieces together, trapping beets inside.
  2. Bake for 45-60 minutes (it really depends on the size of your beets so check after 45 minutes to make sure they’re not burning); beets are done when you can slice a knife through and they feel very tender and don’t give much resistance. Remove from oven when done and let cool for a couple minutes by taking the top layer of foil off.
  3. Grab a small bowl and add labneh and minced dill. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. If you choose to add pine nuts to your creation (which I highly recommend) place nuts in a small skillet over medium heat and toss for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. They’ll give off a toasty aroma when they are close to being done; don’t neglect them or they will burnnnnn baby burn.
  5. While pine nuts are toasting, grab two plates. Perform the remaining step (6) on both plates.
  6. Grab a large spoon and spread the dill-labneh on the plate as the first layer. Carefully place three small beets in the middle. Drizzle plate with 1 tablespoon of tahini. Arrange cucumber slices, jalapeno slices, and basil leaves on the plate, then sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve. Taaaadaaaaaaaaa.

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