Grated beets with tahini

 Food as medicine: beets

I absolutely love these flavors and know they show up here in all sorts of variations. This salad manages to be simple, but makes lunch or dinner feel a little more special. The original recipe calls for roasting the beets in salt which is not a technique I have tried. It's written below with a routine roast to make it easier to fit into everyday cooking. 

I'd suggest doubling the tahini sauce and keeping some in the freezer to make prep easier in the future. It'll last about a month frozen. You could even make these bowls with the leftover tahini sauce.  

 beets with tahini

Beets with tahini
4-6 generous servings, adapted from Zahav

8 medium beets
1/2 cup tahini sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 TBS fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 400'. Trim beets and place in a baking dish. Lightly salt and add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan, cover with aluminum or parchment and roast until tender. This can take anywhere from 45-90 min. Uncover and let cool. Peel beets. 

Grate the peeled beets on a coarse grater into a large bowl. Mix in the tahini sauce, olive oil, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Taste for seasoning. Stir in mint leaves and top with a little more fresh mint. Serve cold or at room temperature. 

Once dressed, this salad is best fresh or eaten within the day. If you'll have leftovers, consider just dressing half and then dress the other half before eating the following day(s). 

Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup + 2 TBS cold water
juice from one lemon
two garlic cloves, finely minced
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt

In a small bowl combine garlic and lemon juice. Let sit 10 minutes. Strain lemon juice into a small/medium jar pressing on the garlic to extract all the liquid. Discard garlic. Add salt, cumin, and tahini to lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the cold water. If you're making it by hand, it'll clump up for awhile. Just keep whisking vigorously and it'll eventually loosen and get pale and creamy. You may also use a hand blender and beat until smooth. Taste for seasoning and acidity and adjust as needed.