Between food allergies, diets and animal-based food restrictions, cooking for a group can be tricky these days. If you’ve got a group of more than a few people, chances are you’ll have at least one person who’s gluten-free, dairy-free or animal-free; it’s a Brave New World out there.
This pecan roasted beet dip manages to satisfy even the pickiest of guests; it’s friendly to all of the above diets, so whether you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant, celiac, or just on a sugar cleanse, paleo diet or some other fad that we haven’t even heard of, you can definitely eat this dip. And, it’s delicious to boot.
The pecans add a touch of nutty sweetness to the earthiness of beets, the sage adds some herbaceous freshness and the garlic and shallots bring in a little zest. Serve with crackers, toasted bread or vegetables and let the ‘thank yous’ roll in.
*Recipe courtesy of The Food Channel.
For the dip
- 1/2 cup raw pecan halves
- 1 pound red beets
- 1 large shallot, divided
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 3 sage leaves
- To taste salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw pecan pieces
- 3 tablespoons sliced shallots
- 3 sage leaves
- 1 Preheat oven to 400F.
- 2 Trim the ends from the beets and peel (see note). Cut into roughly 1-inch pieces and place in a roasting pan. Peel the shallot and cut into large pieces, reserving a small portion for the topping. Place in the roasting pan along with the clove of garlic. Toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast until the beets are tender, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
- 3 While the beets are roasting, cover the pecans with water and let soak.
- 4 When the beets are slightly cool, place the pecans and 1/2 cup of water in a blender (see note). Puree until the pecans begin to break down. Add in the beets, balsamic vinegar, and sage. Puree, adding more water if needed, until the dip is smooth and there are no pieces of beets and pecans left. Add a pinch of salt, taste, and add more as needed.
- 5 Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a couple minutes, just until fragrant. Move the shallots to one side and add the sage leaves to the pan. Continue to cook the shallot and fry the sage leaves. Remove the sage leaves once fried and remove the pan from the heat. Add in the pecan pieces and swirl to lightly toast the pecans in the hot oil.
- 6 Transfer the dip to a bowl and spoon the pecans/shallots/oil mixture over the top. Crush the fried sage and serve with your favorite crackers, toasted bread, or vegetables.
- 1 You do not need to peel the beets for this recipe because after roasting and pureeing in a blender, you can’t tell the difference. However, if feel free to peel the beets as you need.
- 2 This dip works well in a high-speed blender. However, a regular blender or food processor will work. Just make sure the beets are soft.