the appetizer:

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda Hesser includes recipes like Florida Beets; Beet Tzatziki; Malfatti; and Iraqi Grape Leaves Stuffed with Lamb, Mint, and Cinnamon.



Beet Tzatziki

Serves 6 to 8


This tzatziki is made with beets rather than cucumber, so it's sweet, tangy, and very pink.

  • 5 baby beets (about the size of a golf ball), or
         1 full-sized beet, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 1-1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Boil the beets until tender, about 20 minutes, drain. When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with a kitchen towel (one you don't care about) or a paper towel. Coarsely grate the beets.

2. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the yogurt and olive oil, then the beets and dill. Season with additional salt and pepper. Chill until cold.

Cooking Note

You can boil the beets as the recipe instructs, but for more concentrated flavor, I recommend roasting them. Lay the beets on a sheet of foil, sprinkle with a little olive oil, and season with salt. Fold up the foil to make a packet, rolling the edges to seal them. Lay the packet on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beets.

Serving Suggestions

Hummus bi Tahini (p. 68 of the book), Iraqi Grape Leaves Stuffed with Lamb, Mint, and Cinnamon, Amaki Araka (Lamb with Peas; p. 550), Cumin-Mustard Carrots (p. 237)

June 21, 2006: "The Chef: Ana Sortun: A Bazaar From the Hard Yankee Soil," by Julia Moskin. Recipe adapted from Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, by Ana Sortun.—2006

  • from:
    The Essential New York Times Cookbook
    Classic Recipes for a New Century
  • by Amanda Hesser
  • W. W. Norton & Company 2010
  • $40.00 cloth
  • ISBN-10: 0393061035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-393-06103-1
  • Reprinted by permission.

Buy The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century


The Essential New York Times Cookbook


This page created April 2011

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