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Roasted beets with Avocado-Habanero crema

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

We love the flavor of sweet-earthy roasted beets, and this recipe is amongst my favorites. The creamy sauce with a touch of heat balances the sweet beets, this is the perfect appetizer for a Mexican themed dinner.

I learned about Central American sour cream (Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Honduran) a couple of years ago. The first time I tasted the Salvadoran version, available at any Latin-American store, it changed everything I knew about sour cream, rich, creamy and ohh! so delicious! No more going back to the crappy bland sour creams for me. More on crema here.

I love this gorgeous cookbook, one of the many restaurant cookbooks on my shelf. I want to take a trip to the Yucatan just so I can eat here every night for a week. This book is on the sophisticated side and the recipes are involved, but each dish turns out fantastic.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


4 large beets

6 basil sprigs

A glug of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of ground allspice

For the Avocado-Habanero crema:

1 large avocado (Haas preferred)

1 habanero chili, seeded, or to taste

1 cup sour cream (Salvadoran preferred)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the beet stems and wash them well. Fold them tightly in foil with the olive oil, basil stems, and salt and bake at 375°F for 1 hour, till they are soft. Cool completely, peel and dice or slice them. Sprinkle with the pinch of allspice.

While the beets are baking, mix all the ingredients for the cream and blitz quickly to form a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust for salt, heat and sugar. Keep chilled in the refrigerator till needed.

Arrange the beets on a platter. Top with a spoon of the cream leaving the rest at the table for guests who want more, you know they will want more.

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