Web Original: Right-Now Recipe: Beets With Tehina

Luckily, my husband and I enjoy the same foods. Well, with a few exceptions — beets, for example. I love them; he hates them. (And he’s not the only one. Our president-elect recently divulged his beet aversion to the Associated Press.) Then we had the beets at Zahav, where a dish of grated beets with tehina is usually part of the restaurant’s salad course. The last time I brought beets into the house, my husband said he’d happily eat them if I could make them the Zahav-way. Maybe Mr. Obama could get down with chef Solmonov’s earthy, creamy, nutty beet salad, too.

1 lb. red beets, all roughly the same size
1 c. Kosher salt
4 oz. tehina (see recipe below)
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. fresh-chopped dill
1 Tbsp. fresh-chopped mint
4 Tbsp. lightly toasted chopped walnuts
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub beets under cool running water to remove dirt. Spread ½ cup salt on the bottom of a heavy-bottomed sauté pan. Place the beets on top of salt, then cover with remaining ½ cup of salt. Place sauté pan in the preheated oven and roast for approximately 90 minutes, or until the tip of a paring knife easily pierces the flesh of the beets. Remove the beets from the salt and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Remove the skins from the beets while still warm by rubbing beet with paper towels. Once skin is removed, allow beets to cool completely, about one hour. Grate the beets using the coarse side of a box grater. Combine the grated beets, prepared tehina, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs in a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Season to taste with black pepper and salt. Sprinkle walnuts on top of beet mixture and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

Tehina Ingredients
3 c. warm water
4 c. organic sesame paste (preferably unhulled)
2 garlic cloves, peeled, germ and root-end removed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Combine garlic cloves and lemon juice in a blender and process until it
forms a smooth paste. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add warm water and 2 cups sesame paste and blend on high until smooth. Add remaining sesame paste, cumin and olive oil and blend again until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.