This beetroot dip has a deep earthy flavour because of the way the beetroot are cooked: wrapped tightly in foil and baked to retain the natural sugars. I think this is the best way to always cook beetroot.
4 medium beetroot
400ml extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
8 sprigs of thyme
¾ cup whole almonds, roasted
60g shanklish cheese
2 tbsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
¼ cup oregano leaves
3 sprigs mint
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 walnuts, roughly chopped
Extra shanklish to crumble over the plate
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Cut four squares of foil big enough to wrap each beetroot. Place the beetroot in the middle of each piece, add a garlic clove and a little thyme.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, wrap tightly then place on a tray and bake for about 1½ hours or until you can easily push a knife into the beetroot.
Cool slightly so you can peel the beetroot then place in a food processor with the baked garlic, the remaining oil and other ingredients.
Puree until smooth (but don't worry if the beetroot still has a little texture), season with salt and pepper.
Spoon onto a serving plate and sprinkle with some of the shanklish and chopped walnuts.