Some blog posts ago, I shared a meta-theory on how I prepare and enjoy my favorite meals. You can check out the original article here, but, as a summary, I prefer to eat my meals in bowls of triumvirate structure. Every good bowl, I believe, has three essential components: base, main, and taste-breaker. Bases operate as the “stick-to-the-ribs” portion of the meal, usually a grain or legume. The main offers the unctuous bit: savory, complex and of primary focus. The taste breaker is an essential intermezzi, accenting the main and connecting to the base. It is usually an acidic or bright note, but I like to highlight all portions of the tongue.
I want to write a cookbook, and I’ve been working on the concept for a bit now. Bowls will play a part in my cookbook, hopefully a chapter or two. I’m going to be sharing some recipes and testing some recipe formats with y’all, so cook along while you read this semester!
I cooked this recipe tonight, it’s a regular favorite of mine. It features my favorite vegetable (beets) and is perfect for a wet October evening:
Beets, Cooked Tip to Tops
.• One bunch of beets
• One small onion
• A few cloves of garlic
• A handful of walnuts
• Cumin, coriander, & cayenne
• A handful of pepitas
• Apple cider vinegar
• Olive oil
• Red Pepper flakes
Set: Oven to 425 F
• Wash beets, setting aside tops, and cut into bite-sized cubes
• Slice onion into strips and chop thick portions of the
beet stems. Mince garlic as well.
• Toss beets with olive oil, nuts, seeds, and spice mixture
onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Cook until fork
tender, about 30 minutes
• In a pan with olive oil, sauté garlic and red pepper flakes
until fragrant. Add onions and chopped stems and cook for
a few minutes until tender. Add leafy tops and a splash of
vinegar. When tops are wilted serve together (in a bowl of course) with roasted
beets and a grain of your choice
This recipe, like all of cooking, should be fluid, fun, and free.
Swap or omit where ever you see fit.
Instead of walnuts try almonds or pecans
Instead of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) try sesame or sunflower seeds
Instead of cumin, coriander, and cayenne try curry powder
Any vinegar or acid,like lemons, can replace apple cider vinegar
During supper tonight I swapped the spices around, I kept the coriander but left out the cumin and cayenne for the lighter and more floral clove, star anise, and thyme. These really do smell exceptional roasting in the oven. I served my beets from tip to tops over Israeli couscous and topped the whole affair gingerly with Pecorino (any well-aged cheese will do) and roughly cracked black pepper.