I bought Ottolenghi's Plenty about a year ago. I was amazed at how every recipe was beyond flavourful and delicious. About a month ago, I treated myself to Jerusalem. After hearing the buzz about this cookbook, I just couldn't resist it any longer. I quickly fell into the book, reading it as though it were an award winning novel. I was mesmerized by the photos and enthralled by the stories. Needless to say, I immediately wanted to cook EVERYTHING in the book!

BEET ZA'ATAR DIP // perfect size for a small party appetizer

I gravitated towards this recipe as my first from Jerusalem because lets face it, no one can deny za'atar. I simplified the method described in the book, to suite my cooking style, as well as halved the recipe because I only had 3 beets. Inspired by Ottolenghi's Pureed beets with yogurt & za'atar.

Preheat the oven to 400.


3 medium sized beets
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 small red chile
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp za'atar
s+p to taste

sliced almonds 

day old pita bread

What to do:

Roast the beets whole and unpeeled on a roasting pan for about an hour. Once cool enough to touch, peel the beets and cut them into about 6 pieces. Let cool.

Place the beets, garlic, chile and yogurt in a food processor and pulse to a smooth paste.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the remainder of the ingredients; add s+p to taste.

I served mine with toasted almond slices; goat cheese, hazelnuts and green onions could work as well.

For the pita bread, split it into single layers, drizzle with olive oil and broil for 5-10 minutes watching closely.