Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beet it!

I've been enjoying the final summer produce from my CSA, and we've been getting an influx of beets and basil.  I have yet to try combining them, but my favorite way to enjoy each of them is below.

Pesto is a great way to enjoy the taste of summer all year round. Whip up this quick recipe and put into an ice cube tray. Freeze completely, then transfer to ziplock bags. Whenever you're in the mood for a mediterranean summer, pull out a cube and toss with pasta, spread on lasagna noodles, or mix with veggies. I promise a ray of sunshine will break through the gray clouds.

Basil Pesto
adapted from The Frugal Foodie Cookbook

5 cups fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Put all ingredients into the food processor/blender and whir for 30 seconds, or until it reaches your desired texture.

And beets are one of my favorite vegetables, but I usually don't need to eat the entire bunch myself, and my husband isn't a fan.  So I just roast all of them, eat what I want that night, and then slice the rest on salads (especially tasty with a good vinaegrette!).  Here's my method:

Roasted Beets


Clean beets, but don't peel.  Add the beets to a baking pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with foil, and put into a 400' pre-heated oven.  Cook for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Check for doneness by sticking a knife into the largest beet.  When it slides easily, take the beets out. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut off the stems and roots. The skin should also peel off easily.  Sprinkle a little salt over the beets and enjoy!

And finally, a bonus recipe.  I wish I'd taken a picture, but alas, I didn't think of it.  I made these muffins while my in-laws were visiting, and they were a hit.  Plus, they were super satisfying.

Jacqui Muffins
From The Frugal Foodie Cookbook

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole-wheat flour
1.25 c sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1.5 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1.5 t cinnamon
2 t orange zest
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 c coconut
1/2 c rolled oats
1/3 c golden raisins
1/3 c pumpkin seeds
4 eggs
1.5 t vanilla extract
1 c canola oil
2 c grated carrot
1 grated apple

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Stir in orange zest, walnuts, coconut, rolled oats, raisins and pumkin seeds.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs, then whisk in vanilla and oil.  Combine wet and dry ingredients; stir until just combined.  Add carrot and apple; mix well.  Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes, then cool.

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