Nutrition packed and vibrant in color, this creamy, delicious beet tzatziki is one not to miss. Bonus points for using the whole beet plant to make beet green chips to go with!
Two weeks ago I was in Santorini, Greece, soaking up sunshine, eating all the seafood, tomatoes, feta and tzatziki I could get my hands on. Today, I am sitting in a Starbucks drinking an overpriced latte staring at nothing but grey clouds. TAKE ME BACK, PLEASE.
In all seriousness though, I’m so grateful for the experience to have visited Greece and to have traveled across the globe with my husband (this was our first international trip together…outside of Mexico and Canada). Greece was beautiful – from the breathtaking sunsets in Santorini to the seaside dinners to the pristine white calderas. And I couldn’t get over the hospitality there. It became the norm that every time we would finish dinner and decline dessert and say “we’re all set”, they would bring out a plate of fresh fruit or cake along with a couple shots of their local spirit, raki. They make you feel like you’re family. Plus, I’m never going to turn down complimentary booze!
I also couldn’t get over the food in Greece. Now I’ve never been to Italy and maybe once I visit there, I won’t be able to make this statement anymore, but out of all the places I’ve traveled thus far, Greece had the best food. Everything was so fresh. Like so fresh you watch them cook your fish right in front of your eyes on the outdoor grill. So fresh that they bring you in the back to pick out your piece of fish. So fresh that they debone and fillet your seafood table side. So fresh that I didn’t know tomatoes could be that red and that juicy. So fresh that I didn’t know what stuffed vine (grape) leaves were supposed to taste like until eating there. So fresh that I could be okay with trying new seafood like grilled octopus and squid. Did I belabor my point yet? So. Fresh. 😉
And I came back inspired to return to the kitchen and develop new recipes for you guys. I apologize in advance for the wave of Greek-inspired recipes that are about to take over the blog. One of my top two meals in Greece was at this small restaurant in Plaka, a small fishermen’s town outside of Elounda, Crete. We went there for lunch one day and I ordered stuffed vine leaves (which I had to embarrassingly had to Google to make sure they were in fact grape leaves) and a Greek salad. Steve had baked chicken and potatoes and said it was the chicken he’s had in his life to date. This Greek salad was my favorite of the trip (I think I ate it almost everyday I was there) – it had the reddest, juiciest tomatoes and the creamiest hunk of feta overtop. And those vine leaves…warm, lemony and melt-in-your mouth consistency. To start they brought out fresh bread and olives as well as a plate of beetroot tzatziki. Just looking at the vibrant pop of pink on the plate put a smile on my face. And it was as delicious as ever.
I decided I had to recreate this beet tzatziki when I got back home. And I’m happy to say that it’s as delicious as the one we had in Greece. But as someone who’s pet peeve is food waste, I found myself struggling with what to do with the beet greens. Sure, I could toss them but what if I could use them with my beet tzatziki and not let them go to waste? Beet green chips to the rescue! Just like kale chips, you can sprinkle beet greens with a touch of olive oil, season with salt and roast in the oven. They are just as crunchy as kale chips. The taste is a little more earthy, like beets and they’re fragile. So don’t try to dip these chips in the tzatziki. Instead, spoon the dip onto your chip and nosh away.
The beet tzatziki was super easy to make too – roasting the beets took a little while but the “cooking”
time was quick. If you’re looking to save even more time, search for pre-roasted beets at the grocery store.
We served the tzatziki with homemade pita chips and the beet green chips. We also used it with a couple other Greek recipes we made later in the week – coming to the blog soon (I warned you the wave was coming). Serve this dip up at your next tailgating party and you can bet this recipe will stand out from the rest (that color!!).Print
For the beet tzatziki:
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 medium roasted beets, cooled
For the Beet Green Chips:
- 1 bunch beet greens, stems removed, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
For the Beet Tzatziki:
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Using the large holes on a grater, grate the roasted beets into the bowl.
- Fold grated beets into the yogurt mixture until combined.
- Serve with beet green chips and/or homemade pita chips.
For the Beet Green Chips:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread beet greens out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes, turning over once and baking for another 7-10 minutes, or until crispy.
To roast beets, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover beets in foil with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes, or until tender, checking in on the beets every 20 minutes or so, adding water to them if they seem dry. Let beets cool before peeling.