Monday, January 12, 2009


As I walk through the open-air market far from the abundance of winter fruits I stumble upon the misfit vegetables. Winter root vegetables lack the vibrant shade from the skin, but once peeled the beetroot is magnificent with intense texture and color. Uncooked they are crunchy but the transformation after cooking is smooth and buttery.
Red or golden is said that beets are good for the brain, but I just love the taste.

Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade
1 pound cooked beets combination of red and gold
1/2 tsp salt

Juice and zest of one lemon
1-teaspoon ginger, minced
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

1/3 cup crystallized ginger, sliced

Peel and coarsely grate the beets, and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a tightly capped jar.

Roasted Beet Salad
1 pound beets, washed, steams trimmed 1/2 inch above beetroot
1-tablespoon horseradish
6 Sage leaves, sliced
Pinch salt and pepper
8 ozs goat cheese
Place beet in a tightly covered casserole dish. Pour enough water to cover 1/2 inch at the bottom. Roast at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. It is cooked when the skin is slightly wrinkled and removes easily with your fingers. Remove from oven and as soon as they are cool enough to touch, remove skin and cut into about 8 1/4 inch pieces. While still warm mix well with horseradish, sage, salt and pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours. Mix well again. Add the crumbled goat cheese. Mix and serve.

Golden Beet Soup With Walnut Oil
5 pounds large gold beets, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
2 onions, diced
1 leek, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4-cup honey
Salt and pepper
10 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup Walnut Oil
Walnut oil to drizzle on soup
Chopped chives to garnish

Sautee onions and leeks in olive oil over medium heat. When vegetables begin to caramelize add honey and beets. Cook until honey bubbles. Add chicken stock and simmer until beets are very tender. Add water if liquid reduces too much. Season to taste. Let soup cool slightly and then puree in blender. Re-warm in pan and whisk in Walnut oil. Serve with drizzle of walnut oil and garnish with chives.

Roasted Winter Vegetables with Avocado Aioli
1 lemon, halved
12 baby artichokes
1-pound young carrots, tops trimmed to 1 inch
1/2 pound thin green beans
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
12 small red-skinned new potatoes
12 small beets
½ cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Avocado Aioli:
2 ripe Hass avocados (about 1/2 pound each)
2 Tablespoons fresh limejuice
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Toss the carrots, green beans, snap peas, potatoes and beets with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes in a pre-heated 400-degree oven Trim the artichoke stems and cut about 1/2 inch off the tops. Remove any tough outer leaves at the base and snip the points from the remaining leaves with scissors. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the artichokes and lemon half’s and boil until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. Meanwhile halve the avocados. Scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash with the lime juice and garlic. Scrape into a food processor and puree. With the machine on, drizzle in the oil. Scrape the puree into a bowl. Fold in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. To serve, arrange the vegetables on a large platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve the aioli in a bowl on the side.

Fussili With Beets, goat cheese and sage
2 pounds beets (red or golden or a combo)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-tablespoon olive oil
1-cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 pound fussily
1-cup goat cheese

In the top of a steamer basket steam scrubbed beets until fork tender about 30 minutes. Remove beets and let stand. When cool enough to handle, rub off skin using a paper towel. Slice beets into wedges. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente about 10 minutes. In a large bowl toss beets with garlic olive oil, stock and sage leaves. Drain the pasta and return to pot. Toss pasta with 2/3 the goat cheese reserving the rest for garnish. Add beets mixture and coat well. Divide onto 4-6 plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve immediately.

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