Ćwikła is a zesty Polish relish made from grated beets and horseradish typically served at Easter. It has a big, bold flavor that is acidic, bright, and hot. The horseradish lends the relish a unique heat that tickles your nose while grated beets provide an earthy sweetness. I like to pair it with sausages or other roasted meats (which is quite typical) —but sometimes eat it with nothing more than a cracker.
This dip borrows those same flavors and transforms them into a vibrant dip fit for a party. Grated beets and horseradish get folded into creamy Greek yogurt to create a neon pink dip that’s as delicious as it is stunning. It’s certainly not traditional, but it’s the flavors I know and love transformed into something that celebrates its spirit. If you can’t find fresh horseradish root in your grocery store feel free to substitute it with a quarter cup of prepared horseradish. (Just make sure you’re using the grated product and not the creamed variety.) You can also use refrigerated precooked beets to save yourself some time. If so, start from step 2 and proceed as written. —Jesse Szewczyk
1 hour 15 minutes
6 to 8
fresh beets (about 2 small beets)
freshly grated horseradish root
packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the beets, but do not dry, and wrap them individually in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped beets on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until fork tender, 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While the beets are cooling, combine grated horseradish, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and the juice of 2 medium lemons in the bowl of a food processor.
Once the beets are cooled, rub them with a paper towel to remove their skins and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Add to the bowl of the food processor and blend until completely smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of water to thin the mixture out if needed.
Thoroughly combine Greek yogurt and sour cream in a large serving bowl. Add the beet mixture and gently fold it in to create streaks of pink. (Do not overmix.) Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with chives, dill, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few big cracks of black pepper. Serve immediately with assorted raw vegetables for dipping.