Katie: One of the great things about my new apartment is its proximity to the Westside Community Market. I got a chance to explore this weekly farmers market last Saturday.
Although it can’t be compared to this farmer’s market, I thought it had a great variety and nice atmosphere. The products included everything from produce to plants to baked goods and chocolates. There was even some live music. I also found this neat community garden near the market:
My purchases included:
The last meal I made with beets was this Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup, but this time I wanted to try a more seasonal dish. I based my meal off of this recipe for Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, and Orange from Gluten-Free Goddess, with some variations. My salad included a base of greens, topped with quinoa, roasted beets, yellow mango, carrots, chickpeas, and roasted sunflower seeds! It was joined together with a dressing made of balsamic vinagrette, olive oil, soy sauce, and agave syrup. It may have been an unusual salad, but I really liked it! I hope I’ll have time this summer to explore the market more and try other summer salads!
Katie: Since I’m on my own for meals this week, I decided to take the opportunity to try a few new recipes. It was chilly here today, so I decided to make some soup. I found this recipe for Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup from Martha Stewart. It took awhile to roast the beets, but otherwise this soup was really simple to make. I forgot to add the lemon juice, but it still tasted great. I ate it with a dollop of ricotta, which was the perfect accompaniment!
Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup (slightly adapted from Whole Living)
- 3 medium beets
- olive oil
- 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle beets with olive oil and roast in parchment-lined foil for 1 hour or until tender. Drizzle the garlic cloves with oil (I roasted a whole head), wrap in foil, and roast for 30-40 minutes. Unwrap beets, let cool, peel, and quarter. (Be careful not to get the juice on your clothes!) Squeeze garlic from skin. Set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add beets and garlic, the herbs, the bay leaf, and 3 cups water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Let the soup cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with ricotta cheese or sour cream, as desired.
To go with my soup, I decided to use some leftover salmon in quesadillas. I followed this recipe for Salmon and Kale Quesadillas, which turned out great! If I made them again, I might try added other spices or some tomatoes, but I really enjoyed this combination of flavors.
Katie: This weekend, I was confronted with something I hadn’t experienced in a long time: having to cook only for myself. While I always like the feeling of being able to cook for others and share a meal, I decided to use this as an opportunity to make something different that others might not appreciate as much as me!
I went to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, which was filled with stands of fresh, locally-grown produce. I chose some beets, which looked really good. Since I had a leftover tortilla at home, I decided to make a wrap, adapted from this recipe for Beet and Greens Quesadillas. I really liked the combination of vegetables and spices, and the feta cheese was the perfect addition! I even had enough filling left over to use for another meal.
Beets and Greens Wrap
makes 2 wraps
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 medium-size onion, sliced thinly
- 1 unpeeled beet, sliced very thinly
- 2-3 Tbsp. water
- 1 bunch of beet greens, chopped
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tortillas
- a handful of feta cheese
1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet at medium-high heat. Add the onion and beet, and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the water, greens, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and stir until the ingredients are well distributed. Add a little more water if necessary. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and all the water has evaporated.
3. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds and top with the vegetable filling. Sprinkle with feta cheese, roll up, and serve. Enjoy!
Matthew: This dish is what results when I’m not quite sure what I want for dinner. First, I head to the Willy Street Co-op and look for vegetables that look good. This week, I found some golden beets. I supplemented those with a sweet potato and some turnips. At home, I roasted all the veggies with some olive oil and then thought about making them more exciting. I hadn’t made a curry in a while, so I used some hot curry spices and tossed in a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. I was going to eat it with brown rice, but I ran out of time and found some french green lentils instead. It’s not anything spectacular, but it’s a good, healthy dinner.
Matthew: I love beets a lot. I’ve put them in almost ever kind of dish before, but never in risotto. Luckily, I have Risotto by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman, a cookbook entirely devoted to risotto that includes one recipe for beet risotto. I made this red dish for my Valentine’s Day dinner and served it alongside chicken and apple sausages. It made for a really good dinner! Here’s the recipe:
5 cups broth (I used low-sodium chicken broth)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive)
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 whole beets, washed, peeled, diced
1/4 cup cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of the stove. In a heavy, 4-quart pot over moderate heat, heat the butter and oil. Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it. Add the rice to the onion, stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add the diced beets (I chose to roast mine ahead of time and add them a few minutes before the risotto was done cooking). Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, reserving about 1/4 cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, turn off the heat and immediately add reserved broth, cream, Parmesan, and parsley–and stir vigorously to combine with the rice. Serve immediately.
Matthew: I wanted to make something healthy for dinner, so I went to the Willy Street Coop and just started getting good things that I thought might go together. My grocery list included 3 beets, 2 parsnips, an onion, a can of roasted tomato sauce, and French green lentils. At home I also had some vegetable stock, some red wine, and some herbs and seasonings (fennel, basil, oregano, salt, pepper). The result was strikingly scarlet and really delicious! I simmered the ingredients for about an hour, so the beets could cook and everything could meld together. This is the first time I’ve used French green lentils and they turned out to be really good. They are a bit more refined than those other lentils. I liked this dish so much that I ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday. I will definitely be making something like this again.
Katie: Ever since hearing about the White House beet controversy, I wondered whether I liked beets. Never having cooked them before, I decided to give it a try. I found this recipe which looked good. I followed the recipe exactly, except for only using rosemary since I didn’t have any fresh thyme sprigs.
It turned out to be an interesting side dish! Flori tried the beets (or at least half a beet), but didn’t like them. I thought they were good. The carrots alone would also make a good side dish. If I make this again I’ll have to leave out the beets or serve the vegetables seperately.