Emily Mingrone, the chef/owner of Tavern on State in New Haven, shares this festive dip recipe that's both yummy and decorative. "It’s simple, relatively quick to prepare, but visually striking and delicious!" says Emily. "It will add a beautiful pop of color to any holiday spread."

Beet & tahini dip with black bread and sesame Chef Emily Mingrone (5).jpg

Beet and tahini dip with black bread and pepitas

Serves: 10-12

Prep time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large beets
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups tahini
  • 1¼ cups lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepitas or other seeds for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Boil the beets in salted water until they can be easily pierced with a toothpick or fork. Cool and peel. Slice into manageable pieces and place in a blender with water and garlic. Once blended, add tahini, lemon and salt. Continue blending and drizzle in olive oil. Garnish with pepitas, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or whatever you wish! Serve with toast.


Q&A with Emily Mingrone

Chef Emily Mingrone.jpg

Emily Mingrone, chef/owner of Tavern on State in New Haven

How did you get into cooking?

My father is a chef, so I grew up watching him cook and tagging along with him to work. When I was in high school he branched off and opened a deli and catering business which I worked at throughout my teens.

What’s your fondest memory of a holiday meal?

We used to have “cake offs” where we would all bake a cake and my grandfather would judge on taste, creativity, presentation, etc. My dad’s a trained pastry chef, so his would always be the best, but my Grampy would always choose the underdog!

Tips on using local ingredients in holiday meals?

Just go to the market and find what looks good, what speaks to you. Then find a recipe from there. It’s always harder to try and source ingredients based from a recipe rather than the other way around. If a local market has tons of butternut squash, get it and see what you can come up with.

When preparing a holiday feast, is it better to be a traditionalist or an innovator?

I think the key is being both. Using tradition as inspiration to innovate. Take something people recognize and transform it into something exciting and different!

Emily Mingrone on Instagram: @emilymni

This article appears in the November 2020 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.