A revelation for people who claim not to like beetroot, or walnuts come to that – is wonderful with crisp crudités, in a sandwich with goat’s cheese, or scooped up with flatbreads.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
25g stale bread, crusts removed
200g cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 5–7 minutes, until fragrant. Leave to cool.
Warm a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than minute, so be careful not to burn them. Crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
Break the bread into small chunks, put in a food processor or blender with the walnuts and blitz until fine. Add the beetroot, tahini, most of the garlic, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good grind of pepper, then blend to a thick paste.
Taste the mixture and adjust it by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and/or pepper, blending again until you are happy with it. Loosen with a dash of oil if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until required but bring back to room temperature to serve.
Every Day – River Cottage