I thought this yogurt and beet dip would be a perfect dip for Valentine's day, as it is so beautiful. One thing I've learned about Iranians is that they basically eat everything with yogurt. With the addition of beets it makes the yogurt very earthy tasting, but it is very good. According to Batmanglij you are to make this dip with 2 tblsps. sugar. I omitted it. However, if you want to use her advice just mix the sugar with the yogurt in the recipe below. This tastes especially good with some cooked eggplant dish as well. I also made eggplant and pomegranate dip, so it taste well when I ate them together.
2 large uncooked beets
1 c. drained whole milk (high quality) plain yogurt
1 tblsp. chopped fresh mint
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the beets in foil, and cooked in the oven for about 1-1.5 hrs. Remove the beets from the oven and let cool completely in the refrigerator. Once the beets are cooled, remove the foil while sliding off the skin of the beet at the same time (this will prevent you from staining your hands pink). Remove all the skin (it should slide off very easily). Cut off the base of the beet, and cube it into about 1/2 inch cubes.
One-half of an hour before you are ready for your guests, pour the yogurt in the serving dish and let beets stand at room temperature to the side. Right before your guests arrive top the yogurt with the beets and the chopped mint. Serve with lavash bread or pita bread.
Note: The reason I like to let the beets and the yogurt out for 1/2 hr is to bring them to room temperature. It is my opinion that it taste best that way.