Beet Hummus with Caraway and Horseradish

 

Now that the daffodils and cherry blossoms have made their appearance here in the Northwest, it feels like Spring has actually arrived and we can shake off the last chill of winter. To me, spring means more time spent outside, friendships rekindled, and more opportunities to share food with others. I made this beet hummus over the weekend for a wonderful group of women at a meditation retreat in the mountains of Southern California. Nothing is quite as nourishing as time and meals shared with a great community of kindred spirits. 

Beet Hummus with Caraway and Horseradish

1 medium beet
1 can white beans or chickpeas, drained
1 small lemon, zested and juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish or 1/4 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon ground caraway 
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste 

    1. Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until easily pierced with a fork- 45 minutes to an hour.
    2. Once your beet is cooked and cooled, use a paper towel to gently rub off the skin. Quarter the beet and place it in your food processor. Blend until only small bits remain.
    3. Add all ingredients except for olive oil and blend until smooth.
    4. Drizzle in olive oil with good processor running. Taste the hummus and add salt to your liking. Enjoy with fresh veggies or pita chips.
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    Beet “Tartare”

    Beet tartare

    Spring is in full swing here and the lengthening days have me thinking about garden parties and evenings spent outside with friends. This recipe is slightly more composed than some of the others I’ve posted here, but it would make a simple yet impressive appetizer for a party of 4 or a light supper for 2. If you have access to any edible flowers like chive blossoms, they would make a lovely garnish! The small diced beets in this dish along with the sieved egg and shallots mimic a traditional beef tartare, but are a great vegetarian alternative- in fact, I prefer this version to the classic.

    Ingredients:
    2 medium beets
    1 egg, hard boiled
    1 small shallot, finely diced
    1 small handful of chives, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup of cheese- crumbled blue cheese, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan
    2 cups salad greens
    3 radishes, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon honey
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Method:
    1. Place the beets in a pot and cover with water by 1 1/2 inches. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until beets are easily pierced with a fork. When they are finished, remove them from the water and allow them to cool. When they are cool, use a paper towel to rub off the skin. Next, cut them into slices and cut the slices into small cubes. Set aside.
    2. Cut the egg in half lengthwise and press through a mesh strainer or sieve. If you don’t have either of these finely chop the egg and set aside.
    3. In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Set half of the dressing aside.
    4. Place the chopped beets and shallots into the bowl with half the dressing and toss, coating everything lightly.
    5. Place the beet mixture in a pile in the center of each plate. Top the beets with sieved egg and sliced chives. Then in the mixing bowl, add the remaining dressing along with the greens and the radishes and toss to coat. Gently pile the salad along the side of the beets. Scatter the cheese over the salad greens and beets. Enjoy with some rye crackers or crusty bread and glass of wine!

    Beet close up

    Root Vegetable Salad with Blue Cheese and Mint

    root vegetable salad ingredients

    In the Fall our inclination seems to be to roast everything in sight. I totally understand this, but sometimes your body starts to crave fresh flavors again. This salad is the answer to these cravings! Enough to serve two for lunch or more as a side, this salad embraces the more delicate flavors of celeriac and apple while keeping things grounded with undertones of earthy beet and blue cheese. If you don’t have a mandoline slicer in your kitchen arsenal, I highly recommend putting one on your Christmas list. Without one, feel free to use the coarsest grater on a box grater or food processor to give the salad a slaw like texture. Finally, I’ve included the option to add some sliced prosciutto to the salad. If you’re enjoying this as a lunch, the addition of prosciutto will bulk things up and add some protein.

    root vegetable salad

    Ingredients:
    1 celeriac bulb, peeled and grated
    1 small beet, peeled and grated or thinly sliced
    1 large carrot, grated
    1 apple, grated
    1 small bunch of mint leaves
    Juice from 1 lemon
    3/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup blue cheese
    1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, lightly crushed
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Optional: 6 slices of prosciutto, sliced into ribbons
    Method:

    1. Mix together the lemon, sour cream, blue cheese, and Dijon with a pinch of salt and pepper.
    2. Roughly chop the mint. Reserve a tablespoon to the side for garnish.
    3. In a mixing bowl, toss the celeriac, beet, carrot, apple, and mint in the sour cream dressing.
    4. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and top with nuts and mint (and prosciutto, if using).

    Winter Borscht

    winter borschtBorscht is a hearty Eastern European soup that can be served hot or cold, though in this weather I’d recommend serving it warm. It is an extremely versatile soup whose ingredients can be easily adapted to what’s in season (I’ve enjoyed it with golden beets and corn, for example!). Regardless, it is very nourishing and warming on a chilly autumn night. I’ve noted a few possible changes in the ingredient list below. Cabbage is a common ingredient in borscht, but the kale in week 3’s CSA box is a simple substitution. It is traditional to enjoy borscht with slices of dark rye bread.

    Ingredients:
    3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
    1 medium onion or 2 small shallots, small dice
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 cups beets, peeled and coarsely grated
    1 small head green cabbage or 1 bunch kale, chopped
    2 carrots, diced
    2 parsnips, diced
    1 large potato, peeled and diced
    2 qts (8 cups) beef or vegetable broth
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 tablespoon whole juniper berries (optional)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Small handful of dill, chopped
    Sour cream (optional, garnish)

    Method:
    1. Heat butter or oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and cook over medium low heat until they start to soften. Add garlic and beets and continue cooking until beets are tender.
    2. Add remaining veggies (cabbage, carrots, parsnips, and potato) to the pot and stir to mix all ingredients together.
    3. Add broth, bay leaf, juniper, and lemon juice. Bring soup to a low simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes- until potatoes are cooked through. Taste occasionally and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
    4. To serve, dish into bowls and top with sour cream, cracked pepper, and fresh dill.

    winter borscht