Beet Moutabel with Tahini and Toasted Orange Peel

A moutabel dip is a must on the Eastern Mediterranean mezze table. A traditional Syrian specialty, it was usually made with eggplant, but nowadays there are a variety of moutabels, such as beet, potato and zucchini.

Beet moutabel is not only delicious but a truly spectacular dish to look at because of its vibrant color.

  • 5 medium beets (about 1 pound), scrubbed clean
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • finely chopped zest of 3 oranges
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Arrange the beets in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season and roast for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool.

Meanwhile, scatter the orange zest in a small nonstick frying pan and toast over medium heat for about 1 minute. Let cool.

Peel the cooled beets. Grate half the beets on the finer holes of a box grater. Puree the other half in a food processor, but only roughly. This gives the moutabel more texture. Mix both beets in a bowl with the lemon, tahini and yogurt, and season.

Serve the moutabel topped with the toasted orange peel.
6 servings
  • Moving to Harlem with Marcus Samuelsson

    What motivated Marcus Samuelsson to move to Harlem and open Red Rooster, his acclaimed restaurant? He tells The Splendid Table's Melissa Clark that 9/11, his mother, and the Great Migration all played a part. He also discusses the challenge of making fried chicken in the same neighborhood as legendary spots like Sylvia's and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken.

Top Recipes

Emeril Lagasse: 'Learn something every day or you're cheating yourself'

Emeril Lagasse, author of Essential Emeril, says he keeps an open-minded approach to food.