• Yield: 6 servings

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.

Silvena Rowe
Silvena Rowe is a chef, restaurateur, author and writer. She is the author of several cookbooks, including Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume, which won the 2011 Gourmand Award in Paris. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, The Independent, Sunday Times, Olive, Delicious, the Evening Standard and love it!. She served as a food consultant on David Cronenberg's 2007 film "Eastern Promises," and appears regularly on shows such as "Saturday Kitchen."