Beets – a true “gem” of a vegetable. As beautiful as they are nutritious, these ruby-red root vegetables have made a comeback in the culinary world. From impressive garnishes to hearty soups, beets have the ability to liven up any dish. There are a number of ways to enjoy them, from boiled to raw. When trying to find a recipe for a dinner with my close friend Maya Jacobs, I chose to make a Roasted Beet Salad.
Those who have cooked beets are all too familiar of their notorious staining quality. Beets get their color from betalain pigments, producing hues that range from sunny golds to dark crimsons. The cells containing these pigments are very unstable, causing their color to bleed when handled (cut, scrubbed, basically anything). They leave a nasty stain, so I recommend NOT wearing your favorite white shirt while preparing them.
These beets are cooked skins-on, which allows them to retain the majority of their juices during the cooking process. Be sure to allow them to cool to a reasonable temperature before removing the skins – trying to handle scalding beets will inevitably leave you covered in beet juice. While this is a very simple salad, it is packed with flavor – the vinaigrette helps balance the sweetness of the beets, with the whole-grain mustard providing a nice visual contrast. This is superb recipe, and remarkably easy to make – click HERE to see how to make this colorful dish!
I mentioned this was a dinner with my friend Maya…and I am FINALLY getting to blog about her famous hummus! The trick here is really basing things on sight and taste, rather than precise measurements – Maya knows what makes a solid hummus, so it definitely takes practice. The ingredients are simple, and I encourage all my readers to give this a shot – click HERE to see Maya’s acclaimed recipe!
Both hummus and beets have a rich history in Middle Eastern cultures, which led me to the arabesque – an Islamic art form known for its vegetal, flowing design. The term found its way into Western classical music as a way for composers to evoke an Arabic ambiance. One of the more famous examples is Claude Debussy’s Deux Arabesques. One of Debussy’s earlier works, this work (for solo piano) was composed when he was still in his 20’s. Both movements are filled with embellishments, the first more serene and the second more lively. I hope you enjoy!
“Arabesques (Debussy),” Wikipedia.com