This lovely appetizer is a pretty starter to a special meal. The hint of sharp, tangy mustard coupled with apple and fennel strikes up a delightful combination of flavours, from sweet to savoury to acidic. This delightful recipe also doubles as a dipping sauce served with crisp apple slices, celery, and crispy nut wafers.
2 large red beetroots, trimmed, about 1 lb (454 g)
1 cup (250 mL) full-fat plain yogurt, divided
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tsp (10 mL) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely diced fennel
3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely diced, unpeeled green apple
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped toasted walnuts
Fennel fronds or fresh dill for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
In small roasting pan just large enough to hold them, place beets along with 1/4 cup (60 mL) water. Cover pan tightly and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until beets are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop and then place beets in a high-speed blender along with 3/4 cup (180 mL) of the yogurt, honey, and mustard. Pulse contents to blend. Then whirl at high speed, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until mixture is very smooth and silky. Transfer to a covered container until ready to serve. Can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
When ready to serve, make topping. In small frying pan, melt butter. Add diced fennel and apple and sauté until slightly golden-tinged but still a little crisp, about 1 minute.
Spoon Beetroot Mousse into 6 small serving dishes. Top with a dollop of remaining plain yogurt and equal amounts diced fennel and apple topping. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve with a sprig of fennel fronds or fresh dill.