A Duo of Roasted Dips: Beet and Parsnip

Roasted Parsnip Dip with Sweet Potato Chips
Like every year prior to this, my family and I each have our own roles in the Thanksgiving day festivities. My Dad leads the charge on the turkey and stuffing front while my sister handles things in the potato department, contributing her sweet potato casserole and whipping up the mashed potatoes in addition to making the desserts. My Mom is our interior decorator, setting a fancy table scene fit for a king, all while she makes a classic green bean casserole. I am left to snack detail, and since I don't take my responsibility lightly, I like to challenge myself to try new things and change it up each year to keep things interesting. A couple of this year's appetizers were inspired by some of Ana Sortun's recipes from her book Spice, Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean as well as influenced by seasonal ingredients and flavors. I made two dips, the first, a roasted parsnip dip, served with sweet potato chips and the second one, a vibrant beet dip with toasted bread.

Roasted Beet Dip
Roasted parsnips are the unexpected star of the first dip, sweet and with a nuttiness and a natural nutmeg flavor to them, when pureed with fresh rosemary and oregano and a couple splashes of milk, the end result is quite tasty. Smooth and luxuriously creamy, it's a perfect accompaniment to crispy sweet potato chips. The second dip also features something that doesn't make frequent appearances on the dip front - beets. Once they are roasted, they are grated and mixed with Greek yogurt to create something that the eye can't help but be drawn to. Lemon juice and zest perk up the flavors and fresh parsley rounds everything out, creating a beautiful contrast of colors.

Roasted Parsnip Dip
Not only are these dips something a little different, they're super easy to make, with most of the flavors being attributed to the caramelization that happens when the vegetables are roasted and force all of the sugars to the surface, concentrating their flavors and making them naturally flavorful. Give 'em a try..

Roasted Parsnip Dip
- 4 to 5 parsnips, washed, peeled and cut into even sized pieces
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano, leaves removed and minced
- Milk - just enough to make the dip come together (I used about 1/4 cup)
- The juice of half a lemon
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Fresh Parsley for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put parsnips onto a baking pan and drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and half of the herbs. Roast the parsnips until they start to brown. In a processor or blender, puree the parsnips with the lemon juice and gradually add the milk until the dip reaches your desired consistency. Add nutmeg and the rest of the herbs. Season to taste and serve with fresh parsley.

Roasted Beet Dip
- 1 large beet, scrubbed clean
- The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1 - 6 oz. container of Greek Yogurt
- Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tightly wrap the beet in foil and place onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes or until a knife can easily slide in and out of the beet. Once it is cooked through, set it aside until cool enough to handle. Using paper towels, gently rub the skin of the beet off and carefully grate it with a box grater. Add the yogurt to the beets and blend thoroughly, adding the zest and juice. Season to taste and add the parsley right before serving, reserving one piece for garnish. 


Elizabeth said...

I have to try that parsnip dip, looks fabulous.

Kathy the Boston Sports Woman said...

Love the beet recipe for holiday parties!

Daisy said...

these are awesome recipes! i love how your fam splits up the meal tasks.

Megan said...

That beet dip is stunning!

Mom said...

Both the parsnip dip and the beet dip were excellent!! I also liked feeling like I was eating something healthy yet delicious. The beet dip made an impressive presentation - the colors were beautiful and would be a perfect addition to any holiday party. Enjoy....I know we did!!

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