Archive for ‘Beets’

January 27, 2012

Why You Always Buy Beets with the Greens | Duck Fat Beet Greens

Growing up, this was just about the only way I would eat my greens.  I am more adventurous now, but I still love some good smothered greens.  This is an ultra-simple recipe, one my Grandma made frequently, making a quick gravy out of (usually) some rendered bacon fat, a little flour and some onions.  It is quintessential Great Depression cooking: making do with the leftovers.  Lowly ingredients that are greater than the sum of their parts.

This time I had some leftover duck fat from a spicy smoked duck breast to start the gravy.  If you don’t have it, use bacon fat.  It’s enough to turn a greens-phobic into a greens lover.

Beet Greens with Duck Fat and Onion Gravy, makes enough for two (but barely, if one of them is me)

Greens from one bunch of beets, stems removed, washed well and chopped

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January 26, 2012

Why You Always Buy Beets with the Greens | Beetroot and Blood Orange Salad

Beets make me happy.  I know.

But I love their color and their dense, earthy flavor, greatly enhanced by slow roasting them whole for what almost feels like too long.

I make sure to buy them whole, with their greens attached.  Because beet greens are delicious.  I’ll show you an old family recipe for that soon (updated with the addition of some duck fat).  But in the meantime, head out to the store, buy some whole beets and give this simple composed salad a try.  Diana Henry’s recipe will get lots of good vitamins in you during the dark days of winter, good for staving off, the best you can, all those winter colds.

Playlist included Game of Thrones Freestyle, by Gotye featuring Dice Raw.

October 5, 2011

Local Foods Week | Rabbit

 

Sometimes dinner is completely off the grid.  Tonight’s rabbit was an example of that.  Not purchased at a store or farmer’s market, simply gifted to me from generous friends who have local farmer friends.  The dinners, over two nights, could not have embodied the essence of local more than that.

Spot the backyard bunny. No, this was not dinner.

For the squeamish, let me tell you that a beautifully raised, local rabbit might strike you as tasting a whole lot like turkey.  For the more adventurous, it is light, meaty and absolutely delicious.  It is a protein entirely worth hunting down (albeit grocery shopping or the actual in-the-woods kind) to find responsibly-raised meat.

I wasn’t home last night and Hades took it upon himself to braise our rabbit with leeks and carrots and some decidedly non-local French vermouth.  He served it with warm red cabbage, beet and apple salad and a butternut puree.

I cannot begin to express my bitter disappointment at not being home for this meal.

Freakishly, there were leftovers. 

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April 17, 2011

A Cheerful Starter | Golden Beetroot and Radish Salad

This is a joyous way to start a meal.  It’s a beautiful salad, with ribbons of fresh golden beetroot, bold red radishes, freshly picked mint, and wild and aromatic dill.  There’s an Eastern European soul in there, but those delicious and time-honored ingredients take on a brighter, more modern tone.  It’s very simple and unfussy to prepare, and it made me very happy to eat it.  All that’s left to be said is that it was inspired by a Michael Symon recipe in Vefa’s Kitchen.  Yes, that’s the Bible of Greek cooking.  No, borders don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to food.

As with any salad, there aren’t too many rules.  Peel the woody exterior off of 2 smallish golden beets.  No need to even cook them!  Then just shred them into ribbons using your peeler.  When the piece you’re holding becomes small enough, eat it.  Do the same with 2 largish radishes.  Then add your herbs: tear mint, parsley and dill roughly and in the proportion of your choosing.  Finally, make a simple dressing.  I would suggest 4 T of olive oil, 1 T of apple cider vinegar, 1 T of good mustard, a drizzle of honey or a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix the dressing into the veg and herbs to coat evenly.  Enjoy as a starter or a light lunch.

Playlist included For What It’s Worth, by the Cardigans.

November 1, 2010

My Favorite Take Along Salad | Roasted Carrot and Beetroot

    

Really, I am almost beside myself when I’ve got the ingredients for this one.  I can’t take credit for the perfection of a pairing that is a cumin vinaigrette, roasted beets and carrots, crisp tortilla and French cheese.  Look to the amazing Hugh Acheson of 5&10 in Athens, Georgia for that.  Look to him and thank him.

This version is my very humble homage.  But one, that when I can, will eat four or five days in a row for lunch.  It’s that good, people.  If you’re worried about prepping something to take for lunch during the week, you can (as I do, think Sunday) roast all the veg on the first day and subsequently just warm them up and put them on top of the dressed greens with the cheese and tortilla.  You can fry your chips in advance, too, I think, if you keep them tightly sealed after you’ve let them cool.  Pack things separately and assemble just before you’re ready to dig in.  Think about how this is not your normal take along salad!  Heaven.    

Roasted Carrot and Beetroot Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Serves two

3 to 4 medium to large beets, peeled and cut into large chunks

4 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks

Olive Oil, salt, pepper

1 Tortilla (I’ve used both corn and flour, I like flour best right now)

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