A French chef, Tiphaine Campet, created a beet mousse in a verrine. I got inspired (plus I love beets) and came up with my own version. Hers uses a cheese that would not be available here and some garlic granules and chives. She dressed her mousse with beet leaves unadorned.
The result is light, with a tinge of garlic and spice. I served it with some baby arugula dressed in the typical Lebanese dressing of garlic, lemon and olive oil. My daughter, who claims she does not care for beets, was eating it quite contentedly.
Play around with this recipe, it is just a different and fun way to eat your veggies!
- 4 medium-sized beets
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
- 4 squares of KIRI cheese or 2 small squares of cream cheese (3 ounces total) or any white cheese spread
- 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic (mash with a pinch of salt)
- 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 2 pinches of Aleppo pepper (or any red pepper)
- 3 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of tahini
- Roast the beets in a 350F oven till fully cooked; cool a little then peel and cut in chunks; place in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add to the beets yogurt, tahini, mashed garlic with salt, parsley, KIRI squares or cream cheese, spices. Process for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve in small verrines or goblets with some arugula dressed with lemon and olive oil with a bit of garlic.
NOTE: KIRI cheese is a French product much loved in Lebanon. Made by the same folks who make La Vache qui rit cheese spread. It is sold in middle-eastern groceries and even some main supermarkets like Kroger (it is distributed by the same company that distributes all the middle-eastern products). It is used to make puddings and soups and pastries. Its taste is rather bland, just creamy. It comes in a goat cheese version.
If you are using cream cheese or KiRI in this mousse, remember to pull it out of the fridge an hour before, or warm it up a few seconds in the microwave, so that it will easily blend with the other ingredients.