As the weekend rolls around it’s a great time to sit and relax, with a glass of wine but perhaps you want something to nibble on at the same time. Or perhaps you might be going to a party or barbecue this weekend (which we are) and want to take something along. These Beetroot, Feta, Garlic and Thyme dip and Chickpea and Black Sesame Crackers recipes will hopefully help you solve these problems.
Beetroot is a beautiful vegetable when roasted. I think when most people think of beetroot it conjures up memories of the horribly flaccid tinned beetroot they had when they were young. Roasted fresh beetroot is poles apart from the horrible tinned creation. Roasting the beetroot brings out the rich earthy flavours, and also adds a little sweetness. I especially like roasted baby beetroot’s with garlic and thyme so I thought I would try my hand at turning that combination into a dip. The beetroot, thyme & feta dip is smooth, creamy and delicious and the addition of feta brings a lighter note to the beetroot.
I love the thought of using tinned chickpeas in recipes, and have seen a lot of recipes for delicious looking cakes and cookies, but wanted to try something savoury, so when I stumbled across this recipe for Chickpea Crackers on Martha Stewart’s website I couldn’t wait to try it. I have to say though, that the chickpea cracker recipe resulted in a little trial and error. Firstly, I found the oven temperature far too high. I also found that the chickpea crackers puffed up considerably when cooked. So for the second batch I reduced the temperature and used a fork to prick little holes all over the crackers. This worked much better and resulted in flat golden crackers.
So to celebrate the weekend I present to you Beetroot, Thyme & Feta Dip with Chickpea and Black Sesame Crackers. What are you doing this weekend and are you cooking anything special to celebrate?
- 350g of baby beetroot, cleaned and tops cut off
- 200g of Danish Feta
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit).
2. Cut the tops off the beetroot and place in foil along with the garlic and wrap in the foil. Place in a baking tray and bake in the oven until the beetroot become soft.
3. Peel the beetroot and then chop into small cubs and process in a food processor, along with the garlic until it forms a smooth purée. Then strain over a bowl in a strainer lined with paper towel to remove the juice. You might like to set this aside for an hour or two.
4. Purée the Danish Feta until smooth before adding the beetroot purée and the chopped thyme leaves. Process until well combined. Chill before serving.
Chickpea and Black Sesame Crackers
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Note: The crackers soften the next day, so these are best eaten on the day they are made.
- 1 can (15.5 ounces/400 gram) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 large egg white
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees farenheit) and place the racks in middle and lower third of the oven.
- In a food processor, pulse chickpeas until coarsely chopped. Add coriander, salt, pepper, flour, and butter, and pulse to combine.
- With machine running, gradually add the cold water until the dough forms a ball.
- Add Parmesan and pulse to combine.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and divide the dough into two 1-inch-thick disks.
- Tear off a sheet of baking paper and lightly sprinkle it with flour and place one of the dough rounds on top. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and rool out to a 1/8-inch 3.5mm thickness.
- Cut the dough with a cookie cutter into your preferred shape and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Use a fork to prick holes in each cracker (I did this all over my crackers) and then brush with egg white and sprinkle with black sesame seeds and bake until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
- Let crackers cool on sheets.