Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Knew It!

Beets are easily one of my favorite vegetables. I pickle them, grow them, and cook them up just about any way that I can. So imagine my immense pleasure when I saw that they were listed in a recent New York Times Blog by Tara Parker in Health!

Based on work done by Jonny Bowden, nutritionist and author, Parker presents a list of 11 vegetables folks should be eating regularly. I'll confess we don't eat the beets raw, but we'll give that a go. Other than turning them into pickles, we make beet caviar. A combination of cooked beets, mayonnaise, garlic, and walnuts it is the loveliest shade of purple. Originally served to us as a salad in Kazakhstan by our host mother, Larissa, it included sardines. We leave out the fish as we're not big fans. Kids of all ages are attracted to the color, and the flavor keeps them coming back for more. The dish is always clean and empty when we come from a potluck.

Beet Caviar
Bunch of beets
Ground walnuts
Three (or more) cloves of garlic

Cut off the tops and roots of the beets, and boil until soft. Drain and then peel under running cold water or in a pan of cool water. Grate the beets into a bowl. Add the walnuts, and press in the garlic cloves. Add a tablespoon of mayo and stir in. Taste. Add garlic and mayo until you achieve the taste you want. I usually do about a tablespoon and a half, and depending on who I'm making it for and the size of the garlic cloves I'll use up to six or seven cloves. Serve with fresh bread or crackers.

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