Posts Tagged ‘beet’

Pretty and Pink

May 13, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was inspired yesterday while watching a baseball game, seeing all the players wearing pink attire in honor of mothers. Also, because my mother asked for it, I’m finally posting this recipe for her. Happy Mother’s Day!

Beet and Walnut Purée

beet and walnut purée on toast

This is a recipe I came across in the book Spain: A Culinary Road Trip. The book is one of the influences that has put Spain at the top of my travel list as a culinary destination. I highly recommend taking a look at it for the recipes, exploration of Spanish culture, and beautiful pictures. I borrowed the book from the library and went straight to Quince, a Spanish food market where I shared my interest in Spanish cuisine with the owner, who grew up in Spain. As we went through the book, she pointed out where she was from, her favorite dishes, and items she sold that were mentioned in the book.

I spent weeks trying all kinds of recipes from the book and settled on a few favorites. The beet and walnut purée is a nice, quick, and easy recipe from Southern Spain, drawing on the Middle Eastern influence in the country using tahini paste. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it from canned ingredients and it still tastes good. It’s now a year-round staple of my kitchen and a fun substitute for hummus. Plus it’s a ridiculous pink color which is just fun!

Beet and Walnut Purée

from Spain: A Culinary Road Trip

  • 1lb beets
  • 1c walnuts
  • ½c olive oil
  • 2T tahini
  • 1-2T lemon juice
  • ¼c water
  • salt
  1. Roast the beets at 400-450F for 40-60min, until they can be easily poked with a fork.
  2. Peel the beets and cut into large pieces.
  3. Chop walnuts in a food processor until very fine.
  4. Add beets and process until blended.
  5. Add olive oil (while food processor is on if possible).
  6. Add tahini paste, lemon juice, and water and continue to process until completely blended.
  7. Add a dash of salt to taste.

Notes and Variations

The beauty of simple recipes is the possibilities for variations. As I mentioned, this can be made with canned beets instead of roasting them yourself. This is particularly useful if beets are not available or so that you can make it with items from the pantry. My strategy is generally to roast a beet and store it whole in the fridge until I am ready to make the purée, up to 3 days later. If I make a lot of dip, I freeze it for another time, but usually I just eat it all!

Salt is called for to taste but I like adding paprika, a favorite Spanish spice. It adds a nice bite to the dip and intensifies its color. Other spices I’ve used are black pepper and cumin. Some cilantro or parsley would be a fun addition and, especially as garnish, adding a nice contrasting color.

For eating and serving, toast is simply perfect. I bring a jar to work and spread it on toast when I want a snack. I have definitely attacked it with a spoon before (as the website suggests!). For a great presentation, serve it in a pumpernickel bread bowl garnished with parsley or cilantro.

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CSA Week 2: Beets

June 12, 2009

I neglected to photograph the CSA contents last week, mostly because it was the same as the previous week but also because the goodies disappeared within a day! The highlights of the contents were the same wonderful strawberries and asparagus (from Fifer Orchards, Wyoming, DE), plus a giant bag of arugula and a whole little chicken. Oh, and the beets!

Thankfully, Greensgrow includes some recipes with the foodshare for those who haven’t a clue what to do with a giant bag of arugula. One of the recipes was taken from Bon Appetit and was perfect. A great summer dish.

My variation on the Bon Appetit beet salad. Greens? What greens?!

My variation on the Bon Appetit beet salad. Greens? What greens?!

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens

from Bon Appetit, courtesy of Greensgrow

Ingredients
Salad
6 medium beets with beet greens attached
2 large oranges (peel and remove segments from membrane)
1 small sweet onion, cut through root end into thin wedges

  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut off beets, wrap in foil and roast until tender (test with a fork) about 1.5 hours.
  3. Discard the stems and coarsely chop the greens. Blanch in boiling water for two minutes and drain, squeezing to remove excess water.
  4. Combine beets (cut into wedges), orange segments, greens and onions in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing, season with salt and pepper, let sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.

Dressing
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

  1. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend.

Sarah’s Variation
So I only half followed the recipe, I now realize. Here are my shortcuts which were absolutely fantastic, if you ask me! And since you’re reading this, I imagine you are asking me.

Ingredients
Salad
4 small beets with beet greens attached
1 can of mandarin oranges
3 pieces of heart of palm (chopped)
1 spring onion or scallion or chives (chopped)

  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut off beets, and roast in a pan until tender (test with a fork) about 1 hour. Let them sit overnight to cool or simply because you forgot about them!
  3. Discard the stems and coarsely chop the greens. No need to blanch them since they get left by the wayside after cleaning. I’ll find another use for them one of these days!
  4. Combine beets (cut into wedges), orange segments, heart of palm, and onions in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.

Dressing
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

  1. Whisk vinegar, oil, and orange peel in small bowl to blend. Remember, the better quality the oil and vinegar, the better the dressing will be. Or, if you have a really cheap vinegar like me, make sure to balance it out with a really good olive oil!