Chioggia Beet Borani with Feta and Toasted Sesame Seeds
['3 medium chioggia or candy striped beets', '1/4 cup plus 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided', '3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided', '1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds', '1 clove garlic, thinly sliced', '1/2 medium shallot, thinly sliced', '1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt', '2 tablespoons lime juice', '2 ounces fresh goats milk feta, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)', '1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted', 'fleur de sel or Jacobsen salt, more for serving', 'grilled or toasted baguette or seeded crackers, for serving', 'a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder']
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub beets with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool, then peel. Cut the beets into medium chunks and set aside.
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then grind into a powder, preferably with a mortal and pestle.
In a small sauté pan over medium low heat, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and sweat garlic and shallot until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
In a blender or a food processor, combine the beets, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, garlic, shallot, yogurt, and lime. Continue pulsing until very smooth. This recipe yields about 2 cups.
Spoon borani into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with feta, sesame seeds, and finishing sea salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with baguette or crackers.
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