Tuesday, February 16, 2010
and now for something completely different...with beets
Are you in a pancake stupor? I have an antidote for you: a light, piquant, but earthy-tasting dish featuring chopped beets, walnuts, and ground coriander seed.
Sounds different from the beet recipes you're used to seeing, right? (I guess that makes it...offbeet. Yeah. Sorry. I'm not giving up bad puns for Lent.) That's exactly why I clipped the recipe from an issue of Cooking Light a while back.
The original name, "Beets with Walnut-Garlic Sauce," is a little bit misleading--I didn't really get a sauce out of the walnut-garlic mixture, so I ended up turning it into a spread or maybe a hearty dip. The notes to the recipe say that this dish is made throughout the Balkans, Russia, and Turkey, and it would be a great addition to a mezze table.
this goat cheese, walnut, and date spread, which is dangerously tasty.) What you think of it will depend on how you feel about raw alliums. Personally, I am a delicate flower, with a palate to match, and even though I significantly cut the amount of onion called for I still found it very sharp at first. After a day or two it was much mellower, but still, I'll probably omit the onions next time. Raw garlic is enough for one dish.
Maybe if my guests are reading they can tell you if they really did love it as-is, or if they would have liked a little less onion. Or a lot less onion, actually. Or if they didn't like it at all and they were just being polite. (I hope it's not that last one! A food blogger would rather have honesty than politeness, I think.)
Anyway. Tread carefully.
I liked the beets on top of cream cheese on a bagel. I liked them even more in a sandwich--two slices of whole grain bread, toasted and spread thickly with cream cheese, then a generous layer of beets, a sliced hard-boiled egg, and some lettuce leaves.
Beet Spread with Walnuts and Garlic (Pkhali)
To roast beets, wash them, trim stems, and cut into roughly equal-sized chunks. Place on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 F until tender, about 45 minutes (depending on the size of your chunks). Let cool and then remove skins.
1/4 C chopped onion (optional)
1/4 C walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
Pinch to 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 garlic clove
3 C roasted beets
Combine first seven ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Roughly chop the roasted beets, add them to the food processor, and process until you have an even, finely chopped spread.