Recipe: Beet and Radish Fritters with Dill Tahini Dipping Sauce

When local farms give you fresh root vegetables, make fritters.

I grew up loving all sorts of finger foods. There was nothing better than dipping a chicken nugget into ketchup, or a mozzarella stick into marinara sauce. Sure, I’m more mature and eat healthier these days, but the craving to have these finger foods on hand has not gone away. After attending a brunch a while back, I decided that I wanted to be able to bring an appetizer to the next event I attended that would put some seasonal produce on display while meeting all of the guests’ dietary restrictions. I came upon some fresh root vegetables—radishes and beets—and decided to work with them.

I shutter at thinking about what my mindset about root vegetables was like as a kid: radishes were just the garnishes on cheese and cracker platters, carrots were always baby carrots in a plastic bag, beets were in a can and kind of weird. If I saw a beet, carrot or a turnip in the supermarket, I assumed they just grew in the ground like a potato (which is a tuber, not a root). Driving out to the local farms on the East End when I was older, I was a bit embarrassed once I realized that there are many root vegetables that can be prepared in many ways, and that they have big lovely greens shooting out of the ground. Many root greens can be prepared and eaten in all sorts of ways which I will talk about in a future recipe, but the roots and tubers are the stars of this recipe.

These Radish and Beet Fritters get a Mediterranean flair with a dill and tahini dipping sauce. Tahini is the ultimate condiment in my house, and is used on meat, eggs, vegetables, and rice. These fritters are best enjoyed fresh and still a bit warm, but they can also be made ahead. If you’re looking for a full meal, serve these fritters over some shredded kale or lettuce with some quinoa or rice. They will be a hit at your next get together (or just to have around to nibble on) and will please your gluten-free and vegetarian friends.

Beet & Radish Fritters with Dill Tahini Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Fritters:

  • ½ cup Grated Radish
  • ½ cup Grated Yukon Potato
  • ¾ cup Grated Beet
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh Dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp. Lemon Juice
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. White Rice Flour
  • 3 Tbsp. Almond Flour
  • ½ cup Cooked Jasmine Rice
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh Dill, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Tahini Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp. Salt

Directions:

  1. Grate the radish, potato and beet on the thick side of a box grater. I suggest to grate each vegetable individually into its own bowl (grate the beets last) to keep the beet juice from dying the radish and potato. Wrap the grated radish with a paper towel and squeeze out any liquid from it. Repeat this step with both the potato and beet.
  2. In a large bowl, add the dill, lemon juice, garlic and onion powder, and salt. Fold in the grated radishes and beets, and then gently add the beets and white rice in. Crack the egg into a separate bowl and whisk, and mix into the vegetables once whisked well. Add the rice flour and almond flour one tablespoon at a time, mixing in between each tablespoon. You should be able to scoop the mixture into your hands and mold it into a ball without it losing too much shape. If the mixture is still too loose and contains too much liquid, add rice flour 1 tsp. at a time. If you get to the point where the mixture is falling apart, add a ½ tsp. of lemon juice or water. Let the fritter batter sit for about 5 minutes so the rice can absorb any leftover liquid.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large stainless skillet with olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, form golf ball-sized fritters with your hand and place down on the olive oil, flattening slightly. Allow the fritters to brown for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until the underside just browns. Carefully flip the fritters over with a spatula, flattening them slightly if necessary after flipping. Let them cook for another 45 seconds, then carefully remove the fritters from the pan and place them on a parchment covered sheet pan. Repeat these steps with the remaining fritter batter, adding an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Once all of the batter has been browned on the stove top, place the sheet pan in the oven and allow them to bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and let them fully cool, which will help them firm up.
  4. To make the tahini sauce, mix the lemon juice and tahini together in a small bowl with a fork. Slowly add the water to the mixture and continue mixing until the tahini is well combined. Add the olive oil, salt, and dill to the tahini sauce and mix until well combined. Dip the fritters into the tahini sauce or drizzle the sauce on top before eating.

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Priscilla Chamessian is a Long Island native and personal chef who focuses on using local and seasonal ingredients. She loves cooking healthy and delicious food, being behind the camera, and drinking strong espresso. See what she's up to at www.priscillacooks.com.