- 8 medium beets, trimmed, greens reserved
- 1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, cooled
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
Cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender when pierced with skewer, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool slightly. Peel and cut beets into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices; set aside. Combine beet greens and 3 tablespoons water in large skillet. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until greens are wilted, about 1 minute; set aside. Cook potato in small saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Return to saucepan and mash.
Blend walnuts, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water in processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup mashed potato, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If thick, thin sauce with 2 to 3 tablespoons water.
Spoon sauce onto center of platter; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Surround with beet greens and beet slices; drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle with capers.
Roasted Beets with Garlic and Walnut Sauce
How many of you saw the title of this post and thought, “Beets? I’m not crazy about beets.” If that’s you, then WAIT!! I promise, this recipe is for beet-lovers and those who don’t think they love beets. The beet is an too-often ignored veg that is super healthy and super easy (can we ask for more?!). But the beet is too-often paired with goat cheese. Yes, I said it. Although goat cheese make my top ten list of favorite foods, beets are so much more than just one of goat cheese’s BFFs. Here’s a fantastic example of the versatility of beets — try it and you’ll be a convert!
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min (50 min, inactive) Serves: 4-6
- 3 large beets, trimmed of greens and root
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, whole or pieces
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Time to clean the beets. Beets look great on one end, with their bright red and green tops, and a bit dodgy on the other, with their long roots. Don’t worry about either — just chop them off.
After you’ve trimmed the beets, give them a good washing with warm water.
NOTE: Produce does not need any special washing cleanser — just good ‘ole warm water. Yes, it has been proven that rubbing produce with your bare hands under warm, running water is as effective as expensive rinse agents, without the potentially harmful chemical residues. Your skin is perfectly abrasive and gentle at once. This goes for any produce, all the time, period.
Place the clean beets in the center of a small piece of aluminum foil, but do not dry them — the extra moisture will help them steam.
Carefully fold the edges of the foil over the top of each beet and then roll up each side, creating a perfectly tight package.
Throw the beets onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet and place them in the oven. Leave them to roast for around 70 minutes (beets should be knife, not fork, tender after roasting, although I just assume they’re ready and never check them…). After time ends, take the beets out of the oven and allow them to cool.
NOTE: The beets can be roasted ahead of time and left for a few hours at room temperature.
While the beets are cooling, prepare the garlic and walnut sauce. Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan and toss in the peeled garlic.
Cook the garlic gently over medium-low heat. Garlic burns easily, so be sure to take it slowly. As the garlic begins to sizzle, turn the cloves multiple times so they brown on all sides. They will cook for 6-8 minutes until brown.
Once the garlic is gorgeous and your kitchen smells like heaven, pour in the walnuts and cook them, turning occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes.
After the garlic and walnuts have toasted, pour the entire mixture, including the oil, into a food processor (I have a fantastic little food processor that makes this so quick and easy).
Puree the mixture (pulsing is best) until it reaches a chunky consistency — I like to maintain a slight crunch from the walnuts, not a nut paste.
The beets should be cool and ready to peel. Peeling roasted beets is a cinch. The only detail is that the tips of your fingers may turn pink… If you’d like to avoid pink finger tips, peel the beets with a paper towel. To peel them, simply slide your fingers (with or without a paper towel) across the surface of the beet — the skin will come right off.
Continue to peel each beet until they are skinless.
Chop each beet into bite-size pieces. However large or small is up to you. I like the pieces to be big enough to chew, but small enough so I can eat multiple pieces at a time.
Place the chopped beets and the garlic and walnut sauce together in a bowl and mix gently (don’t smash the beets!).
This dish is a fantastic accompaniment to any hearty entree. I love to eat it with a juicy steak (the beets pair with the meat as well as a glass of red wine!).
CLICK HERE to download the recipe sheet.
A Divorce for Beets and Goat Cheese
I LOVE beets, but since when did their pairing with goat cheese become an immutable feature of modern cuisine? I don’t find it a particularly good combination. I believe the richness of the cheese overwhelms the earthiness of the beets.
There are other options, ones that might actually excite us if we saw them on a menu and, better still, ones that can be produced at home with ingredients that keep longer than goat cheese. Chief among them is roasted beets, which you’ll know how to make (without a recipe) by the time you finish reading this column, with vinaigrette.
A bit more adventuresome is a dressing of walnuts, garlic and fresh orange juice. Note that all of these have some bitterness or acidity, which counter the sweetness of beets beautifully. To tame the garlic, I cook it quickly, along with the walnuts toasting always makes nuts nuttier. This makes the purée smoother tasting as well.
The most interesting part of making this salad is the beet-roasting technique, taught to me 15 years ago by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It’s easy and nearly mess-free: rinse the beets, wrap them individually in foil while still wet and roast until tender. At that point they can be refrigerated, still wrapped, for a week or so once cooled, the tough outer peel almost falls off in your hands. If you use paper towels you won’t even stain your fingers.
Chop and dress with any basic vinaigrette for the simplest salad, or make the walnut paste. In either case, you can skip the goat cheese.
Beet & Walnut Dip
I’m always on the look out for new dip ideas and seem to have at least two containers of dip in my fridge at all times. Whether its butternut squash, roasted red pepper or zucchini hummus, dips are my favourite easy snack to reach for when I am hungry, they are quick, healthy and most importantly, tasty.
This beet and walnut dip is going to be a staple in my fridge this summer. It’s fantastic served with vegetable sticks for dipping, or you can serve dollops of it on cucumber or radish rounds as a fun appetizer.
It is creamy and has a subtle earthy flavour thanks to the tahini and walnuts. I like serving it topped with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts for some added texture.
I love the vibrant colour of this dip. That being said, as gorgeous as the colour is, be careful when peeling the beets as this stuff really stains. I found that it actually took me a few washes to get the colour off of my hands, and I now have an unintended bright pink dish towel, whoops!
If you want to save time, feel free to buy pre cooked beets. In this recipe I suggest buying raw beets and baking them in the oven wrapped in tin foil.
You can also cook them in a pot of boiling water, but I personally prefer the richer flavour they develop when oven roasted.
I recommend pulsing the walnuts and cumin seeds in the food processor before adding the remaining ingredients to ensure that there are no larger sized chunks in the dip.
This Paleo Beet Dip will last for about 5 days in the fridge but also freezes well. If you have any leftovers you could stir it into pasta as a sauce, or serve it as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches.
Here are a few other dip recipes that you will enjoy…
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Add the salt to a large pot of water. Peel the potatoes and boil in the salted water until well done and are easily pierced with a fork. Place in a colander to drain.
Return the potatoes to the pot and sprinkle with pepper and mash to combine.
In the blender bowl of a food processor (or with a hand mixer), purée the potatoes and garlic until well mixed, about 30 to 45 seconds. Still puréeing, slowly add the olive oil and vinegar, alternating between them, tasting as you go, until the mixture is smooth. Skorthalia should be creamy and thick. If it gets too thick, add a little cold water (but not more than 1/4 cup).
Skordalia is a matter of taste, some prefer a mild garlic taste, while others prefer a strong garlic taste. If the taste is too strong, increase the number of potatoes a bit. If the taste is not strong enough, increase the garlic.
Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients
Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.
Walnut Sauce for Pasta and Gnocchi (Salsa di noci)
This super quick-and-easy, no-cook sauce, hailing from northwestern Italy's coastal Liguria region, is great on gnocchi or any short, fresh pasta such as trofie or corzetti. Delicate and subtle, it's also ideal for filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini, as it's delicate enough not to overpower the flavor of the filling.
Allegedly it originated as a sauce for Genovese-style pansotti, a triangular Ligurian pasta stuffed with a filling of ricotta and chard, spinach, and wild herbs such as borage. It's good on long, thin pasta as well, such as spaghetti or thick, chewy pici. You can also serve this as a simple antipasto or appetizer, spread on slices of crusty bread or crostini (small toasted slices of bread).
Sometimes this sauce is made with half walnuts and half pine nuts, with the addition of a splash of white wine, or with cream, but we prefer this simpler, lighter version, made with just walnuts, garlic, and milk.
It would pair well with a white Ligurian wine such as a Pigato or Vermentino, or a Prosecco when served as an antipasto.
Wild garlic and walnut pesto
Fresh pesto is always so much more delicious than a shop-bought one. Toss this into hot pasta, swirl it into a vegetable soup, use on bruschetta or crostini, or serve with roast veg. These quantities make enough for pasta sauce for four.
50g shelled walnuts
About 75g wild garlic leaves and stems, washed and roughly chopped
35g parmesan (or other hard, mature cheese), finely grated
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon, plus a good squeeze of lemon juice
100-150ml extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the nuts in an ovenproof dish and toast for five to eight minutes, checking from time to time because they burn easily. Leave to cool.
Put the toasted nuts in a food processor, along with the wild garlic, parmesan and lemon zest. Blitz to a paste, then, with the motor running, slowly add the oil until you have a thick, sloppy purée. Scrape this into a bowl, add a squeeze of lemon and season to taste. This pesto will keep in a jar in the fridge for a few days.
BEETS: Beet Salad
Beets are rich in carotenoids. “…all the bright-colored fruits and vegetables (orange, red, yellow, green) contain vitamin A and lycopene, which have the proven capacity to inhibit the growth of cells of several cancer lines…” (Anti-Cancer by David Servan-Schreiber, page 122).
I just finished making Mark Bittman’s recipe, Beet Salad with Garlic-Walnut Sauce, as shown on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qnmk7jjOpg ! The Beet Salad looks beautiful! Tastes great! Is easy to make! And is so very healthy! It’s a KEEPER!
Mark uses two very clever cooking techniques in his recipe:
- He shows you an easy way to steam beets in foil, and when they’re cooked you just rub off the skins! Because you will be rubbing off the skins, I don’t think it’s necessary to scrub your beets clean before cooking them…as long as you rinse your beets under running water after they’re cooked (and skinned).
- He shows you how to heat garlic in oil and slightly brown it before using it in the salad dressing. That’s a great idea! It takes the biting edge off the garlic so you can use lots of garlic in a salad dressing – and garlic is very healthy! I plan to use this technique in many more salad dressing recipes.
And…I just want to suggest a few variations to Mark’s recipe:
- I used less dressing — about half the amount Mark used per bunch of beets, and I kept the remainder for another salad. It would probably be great on a spinach salad…
- I sprinkled a little “something green” (chopped cilantro) over my beet salad, as he suggested. I also sprinkled some freshly grated orange rind (fron an organic orange). I used a microplane to grate the orange rind, leaving the bitter white part on the fruit.
- Also, it would be very pretty to put this beet salad on a bed of thinly sliced oranges (rind removed).
Storing your fresh beets
If the beets you bought still have the greens attached to them, cut the greens off close to the beet. That’s because the greens are feeding on the nutrients in your beets, even after the beets have been harvested. (Note: The same is true for carrots with the greens still attached.) By the way, beet greens are edible. They can be cooked just like you would cook collards or kale. And you’ll find beet greens (identified by the red stem) in almost all field green salads.
No time to cook?
Just buy baby beets ready-to-eat (steamed and peeled) from Trader Joe’s (in the refrigerated section near the pre-cut veggies).
Pasta With Garlic, Chili, Walnuts & Blood Oranges
- 1/2 Cups Finely Chopped Walnuts
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes (See Notes Above)
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Zest (I Used Blood Oranges)
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Juice From 1 Orange
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
- 3/4 Pound Whole Grain Pasta
- Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
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From Vegetarian, by Linda Fraser 1 lb. Sweet peppers 6 TB olive oil 1 large red onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 14 oz. (4 c.) fusilli or other short pasta 3 TB finely chopped fresh parsley salt and pepper to taste grated Parmesan cheese, to serve 1. Place the peppers under a hot &hellip Continue reading Fusilli with Peppers and Onions