Pickled Beets

These quick pickled beets will instantly add bursts of colour to your table. Use them to top a citrus or green salad or add to a sandwich or burger.  They look so fancy, but they only take 30 minutes to make. I’m already planning more to give as gifts.

The November Recipe Redux challenge is to make a sweet or savory, naturally colored, nutritious dish. I instantly thought beautiful dark red beets would be the perfect choice for this challenge. Beets are in season right now and I couldn’t resist getting some different varieties.  I think the mix is even prettier!

I am using beets more than I ever have before and in so many more ways than in soup.  They can be added to veggie burgers, smoothies, hummus, or even juiced. Beets are also wonderful for baking. Pureed cooked beets can be added to cakes or brownies where they add a delicious moist texture. How do you use beets?

Red, Gold and Pink Beets
Red, Gold and Pink Beets cut various ways for Beet Pickles

A mandoline slicer is helpful to slice the beets evenly and cleanly.  I used it to cut the golden beets.  I added the julienne slicer to the mandoline to cut the red beets.  For the white and red striped beets (pink) I used a spiralizer.  Prepare the beets first by washing, trimming the ends and any blemishes off.  Peeling is not necessary but I did peel the yellow beets to show off their gorgeous golden colour.

Pickled Beets
Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets

Makes 3 jars

6 beets

Zest from 2 oranges

2 inch piece of ginger, sliced

12 black peppercorns

3 allspice berries

6 whole cloves

2 cups vinegar

2 cup water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Directions:  Wash jars and set aside while you prepare the beets.  Wash beets, trim ends and peel if you prefer.  Cut them as you like and pack into jars.

Prepare brine by heating water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices.  Heat until boiling and simmer until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Pour on top of beets and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate at least 1 week to develop flavours and up to 1 month.

Check out all the colourful, healthy sweet and savoury dishes by following this link: recipe-redux-linky-logo

Citrus Rosemary Roasted Almonds

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Citrus Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Isn’t it amazing how fast the year has gone?  It is time for the December Recipe Redux! This month we’re playing a little party game. We were instructed to reach for the nearest cookbook and redux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016.’  So fun!  For this  The Recipe Redux I chose “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters.  On page 216 I found the recipe,  Roasted Almonds with Herbs. It is in the delightful chapter, A Little Something…., which is filled with terrific small meals, snacks, or appetizers. The ideas are simple and quick, easy and nutritious and perfect for entertaining and even gifting.

From warm olives to eggplant caviar there were some great reminders of simple dishes I love and also some that I need to make ASAP such as marinated chard and fresh pickled vegetables.  Although I have made spiced nuts many times before, I particularly liked the method in this recipe. In this recipe the salt is dissolved into the liquid and really enhances the flavour.  The herbs are added and then the almonds are roasted for 15-20 minutes.  Quick and simple!

It is very easy to adjust the flavours to your liking.  The original recipe uses thyme and winter savoury but you can add anything you like. I particularly like rosemary with lemon, orange or grapefruit.  Spices work well too like curry, cumin, smoked paprika, chili, cocoa or maple.

Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, California that is best known for locally grown, organic ingredients. She has the culinary philosophy that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients and I wholeheartedly agree.  She has many excellent cookbooks and has won many awards.

Citrus Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Makes 1 cup

1 cup almonds

2 tablespoons fresh orange or grapefruit juice

zest of 1 grapefruit or 1 large orange

1/4 tsp salt

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (measure it after mincing)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Squeeze juice from an orange or grapefruit and measure into a medium size bowl.  Add salt and stir to dissolve.  Add fresh rosemary, olive oil and almonds.  Stir to coat almonds.  Add zest and toss.  Transfer to cast iron pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool completely.  The almonds will be chewy when still warm but become wonderfully crunchy when cool. Package in a air tight container to keep them fresh.

Check out the full 2016 party links here:recipe-redux-linky-logo