Category: Fruits


Beets like citrus.  This is a general rule of thumb, and is quite useful for throwing together a quick salad.  But today I discovered that beets love kumquats!  The combination of flavors–sour from the juice of the kumquats, sweet from their rinds, and earthy from the beets is incredible.  You definitely want to try this one.

Beets and Kumquats

Beet and Kumquat Salad

  •  1 beet (cooked til soft, peeled and cooled)
  • 2 handfuls of kumquats

Dice the beet and put it in a bowl.  Wash the kumquats and cut them in half (thirds if they’re big).  Toss them together with the beets, pouring any juice that you lose while halving the kumquats over the mix.  You want about equal parts beet pieces and kumquat halves.  Toss together and enjoy!

Serves 1-2

Note: This would probably also be good with a dark, leafy green like kale.

Another note written after eating this salad for dinner:  The sourness of the kumquats builds up, not unlike how the burning from spicy peppers builds up.  I would not advise eating large quantities of this all at once.  Also, if your kumquats are particularly sour, you might consider either adding a bit of sugar, some sweet fruits, or more beets.  That said, it’s still a good flavor combo!

And just like that a month goes by and it’s April.  Apologies again for the lack of posts–especially after I had promised you all new posts!  I do have one dish that I made during that week after my last post that I’ll write about later (it was a Thai-inspired curry dish), but it’s a new month and for now I’d rather write about something new!

I went to the grocery store this week at about quarter after 9 on Tuesday morning.  On the one hand, this is an utterly ideal time to go to the grocery store because (at least by this store’s standards), it is empty. No fighting people to get your cart through the aisles…heck, there are actually carts available! The downside, though, is that clearly their shipments of produce must arrive on Wednesday or Thursday because there was not a whole lot to choose from, and a lot of what was there was pretty sad.  I quickly had to scrap plans to get some kale, or my second choice of spinach.  I did find the last good bunch of big organic beets, so I do have beet greens to work with, and then I found some watercress.

I’ve never bought watercress before.  I’ve had it a few times, mostly in foreign countries.  But it was one of the few greens they had that weren’t completely wilted and pathetic looking.  So I decided on the spur of the moment that I was going to make a watercress salad.  Which is weird for me since normally I don’t consider salads to be meals.  But I’ve had this for dinner the past two nights and it’s actually turned out to be quite good and filling.

But what else to put with the watercress?  I had bought pancetta for another recipe (I’m on a bit of a Jamie Oliver kick lately–more on that later), so that was definitely going to go in there.  I also wanted something sweet, but there’s not much in season right now in the fruit department (and the stuff from Chile is all coated in a thick layer of wax that’s impossible to remove!), so I decided to grate up a carrot, which worked out nicely.  I also added a couple green onions, just to get another flavor in there, and to tie it all together I made a dressing with lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Finally, I topped the salad off with some grated Parmesan cheese.  All in all?  Definitely a recipe worth repeating!

watercress

pancetta

lemon dressing

watercress salad

 

Watercress and Pancetta Salad

Salad

  • 1 bunch watercress, washed and picked over
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • approx. 6 slices of pancetta or bacon (more or less to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Dressing

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil (equal to lemon juice)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash and pick over the watercress, throwing away any bad leaves, tear it into bite sized pieces, and put it in a big bowl.  Grate the carrot and add it to the bowl with the watercress.  Chop the onions and do the same.  Cook the pancetta in a nonstick pan until nicely golden and crispy.  Tear it up and add it to the bowl.

To make the dressing, zest the lemon using a grater or microplane*.  Only get the yellow part of the zest–not the white part.  Put the zest in a bowl or 2 cup measure.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in with the zest, being careful not to lose any seeds.  Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and whisk it all together.  When you’re ready to eat, drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with a good amount of Parmesan cheese.

 

*Be VERY careful to keep your thumb away from the microplane.  Seriously.

More Beets!

The lasagna from my last post only used one beet, so I had three more to use!  I decided to try something a little different and make a beet curry.  Since I’d never made anything like this before, I started off by googling around for recipes, but came up mostly empty handed.  I did find a few recipes, but they all required a long list of Indian spices which, unfortunately, I don’t have.  But I wasn’t going to let this stop me!  I do have a good curry powder, so that’s what I started with.

I dropped about three tablespoons of unsalted butter into a medium pan, and once it was melted I threw in about a tablespoon of curry powder.  There are a lot of different curry powders out there, and if you’re not making your own, I would recommend the Whole Foods brand (though ironically that’s not what I have–they were sold out so I ended up with Frontier Natural Curry Powder, which is also a pretty good option).

Then I tossed in the diced beets, peas (thawed but not heated), and what turned out to be the key ingredient–golden raisins.  After letting everything simmer for a bit I tasted it and added some salt.  Just at the end I threw in a couple tablespoons of shredded coconut, tasted it again, and added a few more raisins and a bit more salt.  Here’s the result:

mmm...beets!

It turned out better than I was expecting, and tasted even better as leftovers!

The recipe (all quantities are approximate):

Beet Curry

3tbsp unsalted butter
1tbsp curry powder
2 medium beets, cooked, peeled and diced
1/3c frozen peas, thawed
a handful of golden raisins
2-3tbsp shredded coconut
salt to taste

Melt the butter in a medium pan and add the curry powder.  Stir until curry powder is coated.  Add beets, peas, and raisins.  Simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt, stir, and add coconut.  Cook for another minute or so and add more salt and/or coconut if necessary.  Enjoy!