Here’s a meze bursting with color and flavor. Its almost florescent pink color comes from the beets. When one day, my childhood friend and college roommate Uslu prepared this for us, we, the other two roommates, whose kitchen talents were limited to macaroni and cheese, thought she used some ridiculous food dye to get the bright color. We were pleasantly surprised to find out it was all natural.
Each time I cook beets, I think about the centuries old Turkish kilim rugs and the fact that they use root dyes to color the wool they use. When a see a rug with bright pink or deep magenta patterns on it, I wonder if they used beets in getting those colors.
This is a very simple recipe with only 4 ingredients including salt. Garlic yogurt added to boiled beets, that’s all! No problem for those who want to skip garlic. This makes a great dip with chips or wedges of pita bread. You can also serve it as meze, a side dish. Enjoy!
4 beets, about 2 cups
2 cups plain yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Fresh mint or parsley (optional as garnish)
Cut the stems and the long skinny root part of the beets, wash them. Place in a pan with about 2 cups of water. Boil until tender, about 30 minutes. You can check tenderness by inserting a thin knife into it. If the knife goes thru with ease, it is cooked. Remove from heat, drain. Let it cool, peel outer layer. When you rub your fingers over the skin, it easily peels off. Grate the beets, place in a large bowl. Add yogurt and crushed garlic and salt. Mix well with a spoon. Taste it, if you like it more tangy, feel free to add more yogurt. Place it in a serving dish. Garnish with a few leaves of fresh mint or parsley.