Roasted Beet Puree
(appetizer for about 8)
Wrap in foil and roast until soft (about an hour):
3 - 4 medium-sized beets, washed, trimmed, and cut in half
2 cloves garlic
6 allspice berries
6 cloves
1 t coriander seed
2 T olive oil, drizzled over everything
Unwrap and puree all that with:
1 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
1/2 c lightly toasted walnuts
2-4 T walnut or olive oil
4-8 T white wine (just enough oil and wine so it blends smooth)
Serve with fresh crusty bread for dipping.
Notes & Variations:
  1. This recipe was adapted from The Georgian Feast, by Darra Goldstein (University of California Press, 1999).
  2. Use golden beets for an extraordinarily delicate flavor.
  3. Grinding the spices into the puree gives it a sweet, rich taste.  For a more savory approach, add a couple of bay leaves into the roasting mixture, but discard all the spices before pureeing.
  4. Alex, from Venezuela, says his mother blends a cooked beet with half an onion and some olive oil for a warm sauce to serve with fish or poultry.