This recipe is from the book Your Place or Mine by Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. The recipe is by George.
When the book first came out, I was flicking through it in a bookshop and this recipe jumped out at me. I mentioned to Maus that if she ever saw the book reduced, buy it. I didn’t want to pay top dollar for one recipe. I think it retailed for $49.95 when first released. She saw it a few times for $29.99 but I wanted to pay less than that so we didn’t buy it.
Then one day, I was in our local Post Office. I saw this book and Gary Mehigan’s Comfort Food on sale for $7.00 each!! I couldn’t believe it. I bought them. I could now try the recipe that caught my eye so long ago.
- 500g beetroot (tops removed)
- 50mls olive oil
- a few sprigs of thyme, chopped
- 200g feta
- baguette or ciabatta, to serve.
- Preheat your oven to 170°C.
- Wash the beetroot (give them a bit of a scrub) and then put them in a baking dish.
- Drizzle the beetroot with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and chopped thyme.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or aluminium foil.
- Bake the beetroot until a skewer will go through them easily – about 1½ hours.
- Peel beetroot and roughly chop.
- Put beetroot into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Put beetroot into a muslin or cotton bag and hang over a bowl for, at least, 2 hours to collect the juice. I let it drain, overnight, in the fridge.
- Process the feta in a food processor until smooth.
- Add the beetroot puree and process until smooth and well combined.
I used Greek (Dodoni) feta but if you are worried that your processor will not be able to make it smooth, use Danish feta as it has a much smoother texture to start with.
I have put the left-over beetroot juice in the freezer. The colour was absolutely beautiful. I am sure there is something I can do with it… pink pasta? If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear from you.
I served the dip with finely sliced ciabatta which I dry baked in the oven to make crisps. You could do the same with any bread.