beet, carrot & ginger hot summer salad with ricotta & radicchio


IMG_4062I was standing looking over the beautiful produce and thinking about the weather forecast for the hot summer days ahead. What to make? “I want pasta”, the man next to me said to his companion. “Again?”, she asked. I’m not a big pasta fan- I don’t really ever do noodles. But the classic cheeses, olives, Italian spices…yum. And the ambiance created by those simple little red checkered table clothes, the good wine, yes. So there I stood, thinking of simple, red, and ricotta, and the desire for a hot summer salad. Here’s what I came up with– not Italian, but we enjoyed it! Next time I think I’ll serve it on baby spinach (to make it prettier, not so overly red).

ingredients:

  • 2 red and 2 yellow beets
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 3/4c low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • walnut pieces as garnish

instructions:

Cut off beet roots and tops (setting aside greens), then cut into 4ths. Place in pot with lid and just enough water to cover, bring to boil then turn down heat to simmer covered for about 15 minutes- until beets pass the fork test. When beets pass the fork test, remove from heat, drain, and rinse in cold water to arrest cooking. Use a sharp knife to peel away the beet skins, then chop into medium bite sized pieces. Return chopped beets to pan, then mix in ricotta while beets are still warm. Stir to mix well. Add chopped red onion, coarsely grated carrots, and finely minced fresh ginger root. I like the heat of the ginger, so I used 2 1/2 generous T of minced ginger (about 5 slim slices of peeled fresh ginger root.) Mix all together well, then transfer to glass serving dish with air tight lid (or cover tightly with plastic wrap). This gets even better after sitting and chilling for an hour, or next day; keeps in airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days. Serve cold- or warm- over radicchio with walnut garnish.

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beet & green apple soup


It’s time again to make this gorgeous and satisfying yet simple beet and green apple soup. It’s jewel red beautiful, earthy and slightly sweet with a little zing. Fabulous served with toasted rye or pumpernickel bread with hummus.

ingredients:

  • about 6-7 medium-small size red beets
  • 2-3 medium granny smith apples
  • (beet to apple ratio by mass of about 1 to 0.60)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6-7 cups water
  • garnish with dollop of chevre

instructions:

Scrub beets well, cut off the stems and any long roots. Using a large soup pot, lightly saute chopped onion, then add water and beets. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove beets one at a time, run under cool water, then remove photoskins using fingers or the edge of a sharp knife, then place on a cutting board; repeat until all beets have had skins removed. Quarter or cut cooked beets into medium sized wedges of approximately equal size, then return all to pot. Leaving the apple skins on, quarter or cut into similar sized wedges and place in pot now too. Cover, and continue to simmer for approximately 30 minutes, checking occasionally. Cook until beets are soft to fork test; apples will have cooked into mash. Add 1/2 t salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, transfer to blender and puree to smooth consistency.

(Photo credit to Debbie who tried my recipe then sent me this happy photo)

beet & chevre red rice salad


IMG_2537This autumn salad recipe was inspired by beautiful yellow and red leaves which had fallen into a sword fern on the Marquam trail recently. Thinking then of yellow and red beets, I remembered a simply delicious side dish my cousin Ian made in August – thinly sliced beets topped with chevre. Green ribbons of spinach, earthy walnuts, and red onion were a natural choice.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 yellow and 1 red medium size beets
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar

IMG_2530_2I used Lotus Foods heirloom Bhutan red rice for this recipe– it has a slightly nutty flavor, a fabulous texture, and beautiful red brown color. So it’s perfect for this autumn salad recipe (and also happens to be my favorite rice for Thai dishes.) I picked a chevre with honey, which is wonderful in how it offsets the raw onion and beets.

instructions:

Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, remove root and rough stem from beets, then cut into quarters and steam or simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Rinse with cold water, then use fingers or sharp knife to remove skin. Chop beets into small cubes. Remove stems from fresh spinach, then slice into ribbons. Transfer rice, spinach, beets and walnuts into casserole dish, mixing well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and beets.

wheat berry, gold beet and kale salad with feta


This is a great recipe to make when it’s winter slowly turning to spring, it’s still the season for root vegetables and hardy greens but you are tiring of soup and crave some form of salad, something sunny yellow and bright…

ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup wheat berries  IMG_1954
  • 12 oz tempeh, chopped
  • 1 bunch lactino kale, center ribs removed, leaves cut in ribbons
  • 3 medium golden beets
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 2-3 medium shallots, about 1/4 cup, minced
  • fresh ginger root, about 1/2 inch or 2 T, minced
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing with sea salt, freshly ground pepper

instructions:

Cull then rinse dried wheat berries well. Soak for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse well, cover with fresh water, add pinch of salt. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes, until wheat berries are soft and lightly chewy. Drain, rinse in cold water to cease cooking, drain and set aside in large serving bowl. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and a little sea salt, if desired.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Cut off beet greens and set aside for other use. Cut off roots, cut each beet in half, then arrange beets in a small baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a couple T water, then cover and bake beets until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Rinse in cool water, scrape off skins with sharp knife. Let cool then cut into bite sized pieces.

Chop tempeh, then saute in 2 T olive oil over medium heat for about 5 min, covering then stirring repeatedly to cook through and brown nicely but prevent burning. When tempeh is done cooking, add it to the cooked wheat berries in the serving bowl.

Add 2 T olive oil to the pan you cooked the tempeh in, then saute the shallots, ginger root, kale ribbons and chopped yellow pepper over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until shallots and ginger are fragrant, kale and yellow pepper lightly softened.

Add beets, kale and yellow pepper to wheat berries and tempeh. Drizzle salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; stir gently to combine. Salad can be made 1-2 days ahead, and improves the second day. Cover and refrigerate. Tastes great served cold, room temp, or warmed. Serve topped with feta.

Roasted Beets and Yam with Tempeh and Beet Greens


It’s June so I simply will not turn on the furnace, but I will turn on the oven to roast veggies as I work from home…

ingredients:

1 yam, sliced into 1/4 in rounds then peeled before roasting with rosemary.

1 bunch beets (4-5 medium sized), cut into quarters for roasting. Reserve greens.

1 12-16 oz pkg tempeh, chopped and sauted in 2-3 T olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Steamed beet greens

Balsalmic vinegar

instructions:

Roast beets and yam in 375F oven, stirring occasionally to ensure dont overcook. After roasting, cool, remove beet skins, then chop yams and beets into bite sized pieces. Season with pepper.

Chop beet greens (discarding any hard stems), then steam using 4T water, checking after 3-4 minutes. Dont overcook.

Serves four.