Quick spiced beetroot dip & easy salads

This vibrantly coloured dish is one of the simplest I know: made in seconds (if using ready-cooked beetroot), it tastes absolutely wonderful and is a great vehicle eaten with flatbreads.

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This is a variation of a dish served to me by a very dear friend, Ann. An amazing cook, she has a enviable flair for balancing flavours and over the years I have had some of the best dishes imaginable. This, for me, is one of them: and it is all the more impressive for its total simplicity.

I make this a lot at this time of the year, especially with the beetroot that is ready for picking on the allotment, but I do like to make this in the depths of winter using the bought vacuum-packed beetroots: but only the ones that have no vinegar in them, as the vinegar kills the flavour entirely for this dish!

I often serve this as part of a salad platter: my favourites to go with it are panzanella, peach, Feta & rocket salad; potato salad; courgette salad:

My recipe for the panzanella is here

My recipe for the courgette salad is here.

My recipe for the Feta and peach salad (into which I sometimes add chicken) is here.

You can omit the spices entirely if you prefer, and you still have a great dish. Seriously, everyone I know who has eaten this – with several initially a little cautious over the pinkness of it – has dived in again and again for more. It really is that good.

Recipe: spiced beetroot dip

  • about 300g cooked and peeled beetroot (the ones that come vac-packed are great – just avoid any that come in vinegar!)
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • a little sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa spices (or use paste from a jar)
  • a spritz or two of lemon
  • a few toasted cumin seeds
To finish, any of:
  • toasted pine nuts
  • toasted cumin seeds

Simply grate the beetroot into a bowl and add the other ingredients. Mix well and decant to a serving dish. Add more harissa if you prefer. Cover until you are ready to serve.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

4 thoughts on “Quick spiced beetroot dip & easy salads”

  1. Beautiful. I love canned beets, and they are always available! I’m so glad you didn’t use what most people/cooks refer to as “roasted” beets, but the beets were cooked in the peels in foil!!! One of my pet peeves. Love your dip.


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