I come to you today with a pretty polarizing dish. Most people either love beets or avoid them like the plague (Hi Scott *wink wink*). Since I fall into the “love” category I accidentally ended up with a drawer filled with beets after this last weekend’s trip to the farmers market (plus the giant red beet that arrived in my Imperfect Produce box – it was half the size of my head!). So instead of trying to sneak beets into everything I ate this week, I decided to create a dish centered around beets that really celebrates the flavor and texture of both the golden and red variety. This turned out to be really fun! I was determined to make it a complete meal, which to me means that it includes veggies alongside a bean and a grain. Blending the golden beets into a garlic-y hummus incorporated the bean element, and the toasted rye bread cubes added the grain. I had no idea how delicious this meal would truly turn out to be before my first bite, and after licking my plate clean (and staying full for several hours) I decided it was worthy to bring to you here – for the beet lovers, that is ;).
Something I love about red beets is the earthy, mellow sweetness. They can really handle a lot of tang, which is why there is a mixture of citrus juices and champagne vinegar used in the marinade. A little time to soak and a few pinches of salt later and the beets have a wonderfully complex flavor. Parsley, red onion, and caraway go extra well with these flavors too. Plus the red onion softens and looses it’s bite with a little time sitting in the marinade – an upside for someone like me who is a little sensitive to this allium otherwise. The golden beets have a flavor that is totally their own, a really crave-able sweetness that is mellow but reminds me of sunshine still. They pair so well in a creamy hummus, balanced with lots of garlic and lemon juice to give it some bite. The rye goes nicely with the caraway seeds and dip, it plays the roll that pita bread usually would for a hummus plate. I toast the bread after slicing to keep it from getting too soft once plated, and found it to be a really great break in texture from the other ingredients.
As for life, we went to Idaho! Which you probably already know if you followed along in my Instagram stories last week. It was fall, it was beautiful, and it was really rejuvenating. Scott and I decided when we got home to stay at our place here through the holidays (possibly longer?) rather than trying to force a move to happen, and my anxiety points dropped by half. Lots of things are “in flux” in our life at the moment, and it’s incredible the layers of anxiety that can really burry themselves beneath your skin. They manifest in different ways, both physically and mentally, and have been both motivating and stagnating at times. However tough it feels, I know we are being shaped and molded by our grit and love through this chapter of our life. I’m grateful, tired, and filled with a really true joy. It’s November 8th, and today is the only day I am concerned with.
Last year Scott and I didn’t do the holiday season so well. A culmination of family and work obligations led us to just “get through it” and somehow we neglected so many of our favorite movies and traditions! This year we are making sure it doesn’t slip by. For one, taking each day as an opportunity to do something seasonally special with one anther. And for two, making a check list of every movie, activity, and holiday treat we love – and taping it to the inside door of our pantry. Which is what we did together last night during our intentional time for the day, while listing to Christmas music (*blushing and smiling*). We aren’t in full holiday mode just yet, but we are there in spirit, and are enjoying getting ready for the full shebang by picking out little holiday DIY projects and listening to a few Christmas songs here and there. It makes it feel so casual and “present” to start a little early. That’s how we are justifying it, anyways ;).
Thank you for letting me chat your ear off today, it was really therapeutic to share it all with you. I hope your Novembers are shaping up to be really gorgeous, and that you are filled with so much joy no matter what your schedules are asking of you this season. I’m already jumping in my seat from excitement, knowing what the next month and a half of recipes will be containing here on FW. I can’t wait for us to cook and bake together all season long! Tell me, what are you most looking forward to making in the kitchen this holiday? I’d love to hear. I know for me it will be chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter balls, and plenty of cookies. Till next week, now go eat your beets! – xx
BEET-CENTRIC HUMMUS & MARINATED SALAD W/ TOASTED RYE & CARAWAY SEEDS
Makes 4 servings of salad, with extra hummus.
golden beet hummus
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup pure tahini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
4 cloves of garlic
2 medium golden beets
salt to taste
marinated red beet salad
4 medium red beets
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
salt to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, left whole
caraway seeds, for sprinkling
toasted sourdough rye bread (or plain sourdough)
hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Ahead of time, prepare the beets: Preheat the oven to 375F.
Wash and trim the ends of the beets, then slice in half (or quarter if larger) so they are uniform in size. Place the beets in a ceramic baking dish, pour a 1/4 cup of water into the dish, and tightly seal with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and steam-roast until fork tender. Depending on size this can take between 30 minutes and an hour (mine took the entire hour).
Once cooked, let cool slightly until they are comfortable to handle, and slip the skins off of the beets. Use a vegetable peeler if they are giving you trouble. When the beets have cooled, pack away in airtight glass containers and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use in the following recipes.
Note: the red beets will release their juice when baking and slightly stain the golden beets. If you would like to avoid this, bake in separate dishes. I cook up a few servings of beets in both colors at once, and save the extras for other meals.
Make the hummus: Place all of the ingredients for the hummus in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Use right away, or make ahead of time and store in a glass jar in the fridge. Will keep for one week.
Make the salad: Quarter the cooked, peeled, and cooled red beets and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place in a mixing bowl and top with the champagne vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, and a few pitches of fine sea salt. Run a knife through the caraway seeds a few times, then add to the bowl with the beets as well. Thinly slice the red onion in half moon shapes (I use a mandolin). Add the onion and whole parsley leaves to the bowl and toss.
Set the salad in the fridge to marinate for as little as 15 to 30 minutes, or wrap up and leave overnight. If storing for more than 4 hours I recommend holding back parsley leaves and adding when ready to serve.
Build the plates: Spread a few spoonfuls of the golden beet hummus to cover the surface of your chosen plate. Sprinkle with a pinch of whole caraway seeds, and place a few pieces of toasted sourdough rye bread around the plate. Scoop the marinated red beet salad into the center of the plate, and add a few more cubes of toasted bread. Sprinkle with pepita seeds and enjoy right away.
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