a triumphant beetroot

We eyed each other off. Me on one side, it laying boldly on top. My shoulders slump a little, my breath exhales slowly and I gingerly pick it up.

I can’t help but sigh. There we were again, looking eye to… well foliage, with the same old dilemma. What to do with you beetroot?

You see, beetroot and I were not friends. We never were. Sure, his trashy cousin from the can was fine. Actually rather enjoyable slapped on to a weekend burger, but it was this guy. The plump, rounded, red, rooted vegetable that kept cropping up in my vegetable box. Time and time again, there he was. When will this damn beetroot season end?

I had tried to like it, I really had. Steamed…ick. Pan fried…ick. Drowned in balsamic and goats cheese…ick. Chocolate cake…ok, that one was fine, but I didn’t want to be making that all the time. Nothing seemed to make those red bulbs tasty, the earthy taste of it just stuck to it. I didn’t like it as a kid and I didn’t like it as an adult.

So I gave them away. Happily dropped them off to a neighbour. Passed them on to a friend at school. No dilemma, no thought… here you go, they’re all yours! Big lovely red bunches of them.

Another week went by and it happened again. A top of the vegetable box, sitting proudly in all its rounded red glory, the plumpest, most delicious looking fat beets you had ever seen. (Yes, despite me thinking they tasted ick, I could still value their beauty.)

I sighed… come on, you can do this I whispered to myself… try again. So I instagrammed them, got a lovely lot of suggestions of what to do with them and then turned my oven on. Roasted was suggested, and roasted it was. I hadn’t tried that way yet, maybe, just maybe this was the way to make it slightly palatable.

And it was, it so was. That earthiness that I couldn’t shake before seemed to have disappeared. Leaving instead a sweetness (that rather surprisingly) was quite delicious.

Roasted Beetroot and Pistachio Dip

On a tray into the oven with your whole fat beets at about 180C, (they’re done when you can slip a knife in easily.)

the skin can easily be peeled off when you’ve done this-

chop in to rough pieces and add

a handful of roasted pistachio

salt and pepper to taste

blitz it all with a hand held mixer

and then stir though four heaped dessert spoonfuls of natural yogurt

******

We ate this with a little spelt sourdough, and also on top of pumpkin soup- which had some great colours.

For all those who already eat roasted beetroot and are thinking well, duh Brydie…of course that’s the best way! What can I say? Sometimes, things run a little slower round these parts.

houmus- frugal Friday

Tahini was one of those food items that I had long since written off as something I didn’t particularly like. I didn’t mind it in other peoples cooking, but I certainly wasn’t going to be eating it by the spoonful from the jar. If you can imagine a cat coughing up a fur ball, that would be me trying to eat a spoonful of tahini.

Then I decided that I wanted to make houmus for The Monkeys though. When making houmus it needs tahini, everyone knows that, so I was going to have to revisit my spoonful of fur ball.

I decided to try the unhulled darker type as it had been the hulled version I had always tried in the past. With teaspoon at the ready, I dipped in.

Holy houmus, it was delicious.

It tried another small piece to see if my taste buds were tricking me. Nope, it really was. It was like peanut butter…but sesame butter. Now I don’t know if my taste buds have simply changed over time or unhulled tastes ridiculously better than hulled. Either way, it’s now a staple in the fridge and The Monkeys can have as much houmus as they want, as this dip is dead easy to make.

Houmus

400g canned chick peas

1 clove raw garlic

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

4 tbls olive oil

3 tbls lemon juice

1 tbls unhulled tahini

salt and black pepper to taste

Whiz it all up in a hand held blender. Spoon it out on to a dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little paprika.