Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beet Love in a Kale-Free Zone

I harbor a secret so dark, so atrocious, that I am nervous to admit it here, in this safe place where even spammers dare not tread. We food lovers are known for our acceptance of flavors and ingredients that might scare pedestrian eaters away. We quickly adopt happy trends like sustainable seafood and local cheese. Some of us reach for a daily kombucha regardless of definitive health benefits, just because we like the flavor. We support ethical farm practices, eat fish twice a week, and attempt to pack in five vegetable servings every day.

Yet... there are some food trends that I just cannot support. During this Decade of Kale, I implore you to join me as I confess: I Do Not Like Kale. And not without many attempts at trying. I've roasted kale chips, massaged baby kale for salads, bathed curly kale in spicy sausage soup. I've blended and pureed and used any means possible to make that compost-filler edible. My conclusion: kale is not meant for human consumption. I am not going to pretend anymore. I am no longer fighting my urge to gag when I hear fellow foodies lament last night's kale-ebration. I am officially declaring myself Kale-Free, and this blog is an official Kale-Free Zone. Welcome!

With that announcement, let me also express that there are vegetables that bring me great joy. Today, over at Called to the Table is my Ode to Beets. I've blogged about Biff à la Lindström and pickled beets before, and likely this wont be my last time. Let's celebrate the beet in honor of February, the month of love, and red hearts. What better vegetable to represent Valentines (although last year the radish had her day)?

Biff à la Lindström
Makes 6 small patties
1 pound ground beef
1 small white onion, diced
¼ cup cooked potatoes, pushed through a ricer and cooled (alternatively, you can used very well mashed potatoes)
¼ cup pickled beet, diced
1 tablespoon capers, diced
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and form into 6 small patties. Fry in melted butter or grill over medium heat until cooked medium well. Serve immediately.

Quick Pickled Beets
Red Pickled Beets
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 large red beet, diced fine
1 star anise
10 red peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

Bring sugar and vinegar to simmer; add beets, anise, peppercorns, and salt. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes (shorter for a good crunch, longer for softer beets). Remove from heat and add ¾ cups ice. Chill until serving.

Yellow Pickled Beets
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 large golden beet, diced fine
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Zest from 1/2 an orange
1 teaspoon salt

Bring sugar and vinegar to simmer; add beets, fennel, caraway, zest, and salt. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes (shorter for a good crunch, longer for softer beets). Remove from heat and add ¾ cups ice. Chill until serving.

No comments: