Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Glazed beets with labneh and dill

Thanks to their meaty texture, beets are a great option for a vegetarian main course or a hearty side dish. The nutrient-dense vegetables pair well here with bright dill, tangy labneh (a soft, Middle Eastern-style cheese) and chef Becky Reams' secret ingredient: pomegranate molasses.

Chef Becky Reams

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2 lb. red, golden and/or Chioggia beets
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), lightly toasted in a pan for 5 minutes
1 cup blackberries (sliced in half) or blueberries
1 bunch of dill, finely chopped (some sprigs set aside for garnish)
Salt, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup labneh or strained Greek yogurt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash beets and remove tops. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a sheet tray. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until beets are tender when gently squeezed. Remove to cool slightly. When cool enough to touch, rub skins off and trim any dark or bruised spots. Cut beets into wedges and set aside. (If you're using red and golden beets, do this separately, so the red ones don't bleed their color onto the golden ones.)

In a large bowl, add toasted pepitas, berries, chopped dill and a large pinch of salt. Add beets and toss to combine. Drizzle in half the pomegranate molasses and toss well to combine again. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Spread labne across the base of a serving platter in a large, even layer. Mound beet mixture atop labneh. Drizzle remaining pomegranate molasses over top and garnish with reserved dill sprigs. This dish is excellent served at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6

Photo: © 2020 Becky Reams

Kitchen hack: The secret of pomegranate molasses
"Look for this wonderfully sweet and tangy flavor bomb in the international foods or kosher foods section of your grocery store. If you can't find it, you could substitute a sweetened balsamic vinegar reduction in a pinch."

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