Beets again!!! 2 recipes:

GOLDEN BEET AND BUTTERMILK SOUP

From “Eating Locally”: This is one of the easiest soups imaginable and so inviting on a hot day.  Made with golden beets, it is the color of lemon custard.  Made with red beets, it is shocking pink, like borscht.  The soup can be made up to a couple of days ahead.

1 pound golden beets (about 3 medium beets)

1 large clove garlic, sliced

3 cups buttermilk

¼ cup chopped fresh chives, or 2 Tbs chopped fresh dill, pluse more finely chopped for garnish

1 Tbs sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar, or more to taste

Kosher or sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  If the beet greens are attached, remove all but ½ inch of the stem.  Reserve the greens and stems for another use.  Put the beets in a baking dish, and add water to a depth of ¼ inch.  Cover tightly and bake until a knife pierces them easily, 45-55 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel the beets.

2.  Cut the beets into quarters.  Put the beets, garlic, and 1 ½ cups of the buttermilk in a blender and pureé until smooth.  (You can use a food processor but the results will not be as smooth.)  Add the remaining 1 ½ cups buttermilk, the dill, and the vinegar and pureé again.  Season to taste with salt.  Transfer to a covered container and chill well.

3. Taste before serving and adjust the seasoning.  Serve in cups or bowls, garnishing each portion with a sprinkle of the chives.

CREAMY BEET AND TAHINI DIP

From “Eating Locally”: Anissa Helou, a Lebanese-born food writer living in London, makes this luscious dip for dinner parties.  You can make it a day ahead, although you will probably need to adjust the lemon and salt before serving.

1 pound red beets (about 3 medium beets)

1 clove garlic, sliced

¼ cup tahini, stirred well to blend

3-4 Tbs fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Kosher or sea salt

Toasted pita wedges, Belgian endive spears, fennel wedges, or romaine hearts for dipping

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.  If the beet greens are attached, remove all but ½ inch of the stem.  Reserve the greens and stems for another use.  Put the beets in a baking dish, and add water to a depth of ¼ inch.  Cover tightly and bake until a knife pierces them easily, 45-55 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into quarters.

2. Put the beets and garlic in a food processor and pureé until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the tahini.  Add the lemon juice gradually.  You may not need it all, or you may want a little more.  The tahini requires a lot of lemon for balance.  Season with salt.

3.  Serve the dip with pita wedges or vegetables for dipping.  It will keep, refrigerated, for up to one week.

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