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Secret Recipe: SHED's Mezze Platter

From top: sweet potato hummus, red quinoa with spiced root vegetables, beet tzatziki. Photo by Eric Wolfinger

7x7 asks the Bay Area's chefs for the recipes to their most loved cocktails, bar snacks, starters, mains, and desserts. If there's a dish you can't stop thinking about and want to make at home, email schuyler@7x7.com. Your wish may end up on the blog, along with the actual recipe from the chef.<--break-->

In the February issue of 7x7, we pulled off a boar hunt and feast of epic proportions in Healdsburg ("The Omnivore's Delight," p. 44). Our lovely guests contributed to a beautiful potluck, and they've generously shared the recipes for some of our favorite dishes. They're proportioned for a crowd, so get the gang together for a delicious winter fête, and enjoy!

Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton, owners of SHED, contributed a smorgasbord of technicolor mezze to our meal by chef Diana Mushines.

Sweet Potato Hummus with Pistachio Dukkah

Serves 12

2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup tahini

3 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

salt to taste

pistachio dukkah (see recipe below)

1.    Wash sweet potatoes, and place them in a pot of cold water so they’re just covered, with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. 
2.    Gently sweet potatoes until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a small knife. 
3.    Peel the skin off while they’re still warm, then let cool completely.
4.    In a small pan over a medium flame, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. 
5.    When the spices are cool, grind them finely in a spice grinder.
6.    When the sweet potatoes are cool, mash them slightly. 
7.    Combine the sweet potatoes with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
8.    Serve with pistachio dukkah on top.

Pistachio Dukkah

2 cups unsalted pistachios, hulled

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon Maldon sea salt

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.    Place pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Do not allow the pistachios to brown, or they will taste bitter. 
3.    After pistachios have cooled, coarsely chop them.
4.    Toast sesame seeds in a small pan over a medium flame. As with the pistachios, do not allow them to brown. Set aside.
5.    Place cumin and coriander in a small pan and toast over a medium flame until fragrant.
6.    Allow spices to cool and coarsely grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
7.    In a small bowl, combine pistachios, sesame seeds, spices, and salt. 
8.    Sprinkle over hummus.

Red Quinoa with Spiced Root Vegetables

Serves 12

3 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as celery root, parsnip, rutabaga, or butternut squash.

3 tablespoons madras curry powder

2 quarts cooked red quinoa

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare root vegetables for roasting by peeling, removing the seeds (in the case of squash), and cutting them into a small dice.
3. Keeping the vegetables separate, place them into a mixing bowl and divide the curry powder among them.
4. Toss the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and salt and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
5. Roast the vegetables in the oven until tender.
6. When the vegetables have cooled, place them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Beet Tzatziki

Serves 12

4 pounds beets

3 1/2 quarts plain yogurt

3 cups chopped dill

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle

salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash beets and place them in a baking dish in a single layer.
3. Add one inch of water and a pinch of salt, cover the dish tightly with tin foil, and place it in the oven.
4. Check the beets after 30 minutes by piercing one with a small knife. The beets are cooked when the knife is easily removed. Depending on the size and freshness of the beets, they may take up to an hour and a half to cook.
5. After the beets are cooked, pull them out of the oven and let them cool slightly.
6. While they’re still warm, peel off the skins.
7. Let them cool completely, then shred them using a food processor or box grater.
8. Place shredded beets in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well.