Grated roasted beets tossed in a garlicky yogurt dressing create a salad with out-of-this-world flavor. The one pictured was made with softer pink striped beets, but know that if you make this dish with red beets the result is a bright pink salad that's super pretty. Stunning even. Seriously, don't let the color put you off, this simple salad is amazingly sweet and garlicky at the same time. It's great alongside simple grilled meals or many Mediterranean dishes.
You can also use this dish as a dip with toasted pita chips, crackers, or raw veggies. After the shock of what is making what they're eating so delicious wears off, you'll get a ton of compliments!
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Trim the beets and place them on a large piece of aluminum foil. Toss the beets with the oil, cover them with foil, and seal them into a packet. Put the packet on a baking sheet and cook until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes (larger or older beets can take significantly longer, up to 1 hour). Let the beets sit until they're cool enough to handle, but still warm, about 20 minutes. (See How to Roast Beets for more details.)
- Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic. In a medium bowl, mush the minced garlic with the salt. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the yogurt and stir to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and/or lemon juice to taste.
- Peel the beets (the skins should slip off easily; if you want to avoid stained hands, be sure to don a pair of latex or rubber gloves). In a large bowl, shred the peeled beets on the large wholes of a grater (you can also do this in a food processor with a grating disc attached).
- Stir the grated beets into the yogurt mixture. Season with the pepper and additional salt, if you like. Add the chopped dill, if you're using it, and/or serve the salad topped with dill sprigs. Serve the salad at room temperature.
Store, covered and chilled, up to 1 day. It will keep longer, but know that since the salad contains raw garlic, and its flavor intensifies and can get a bit "hot" or even bitter tasting as it sits very long.