All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
Valentine’s Day. A perfect excuse for magenta food items.
I love beets and I am always surprised when people say they hate them – mostly because beet salads are such a common thing on menus. That alone suggests they are popular but whenever I am questioning a person who claims to eat everything about whether they eat the most controversial foods (mushrooms, eggplant, seafood, garlic, peas, Brussel sprouts & beets) – I often get a negative response to all of those – including beets.
Anyway – I think they are wonderful and I love their vibrant color. One note – if you eat these bright red vegetables – your subsequent visits to the restroom could be alarming. All that pigment in the beets will go right through you and you might look into the toilet bowl & fear you are bleeding to death. You are not. Just FYI.
Another thing – beets WILL dye your clothes & hands – so – wear dark clothing or an apron when working with them. Also – the cavatelli, the sauce & the salad all call for roasted beets. So – roast a whole bunch at once – and roast some garlic along with them. And lastly – cook the cavatelli within a few hours of making them. I let mine sit out too long & I think they suffered for it.
First – the salad.
Beet & Watercress Salad with Edamame
goat cheese – crumbled
red onion – shaved VERY thin
1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon
S&P to taste
Blend the last five ingredients for the dressing.
Halve the beets (tossed in olive oil) & roast at 450 for 45 minutes or until done.
Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until fragrant – being careful not to burn them.
When the beets are done, cool them & slice or cube them up & toss with some dressing.
Arrange the ingredients on plates & add more dressing.
Valentine’s Day Roasted Beet Cavatelli with Caramelized Fennel & Beet Sauce
For the cavatelli
2 cups flour
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS water
1 tsp salt
1 large roasted beet
Halve the beet (tossed in olive oil) & roast at 450 for 45 minutes or until done.
Puree the beet with all the other ingredients – except the flour – until the beet is completely broken up. At this point – I put the flour & beet puree in my bread machine & let it do the dirty work of kneading the dough. You could probably pulse the flour into the food processor in increments. Or – create a flour well on a counter or in a bowl & blend into a dough. Knead it until it is smooth & pliable.
In sections, roll the dough into snakes & then cut into 3/4 inch chunks & roll into little hot dog shapes.
Check out this woman (at about 2:00) and how she rolls out the cavatelli.
I rolled mine on a gnocchi board.
For the beet & caramelized fennel sauce
1 fennel bulb – shaved or sliced very thin – dilly parts saved for garnish
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 TBS olive oil
3 shallots – chopped
4 roasted beets (tossed in olive oil and roasted at 450 for 45 minutes or til done)
4 roasted garlic cloves (roasted with the beets but removed from the oven after about 30 min)
1 tomato – quartered
4 oz goat cheese
3 oz cream cheese (or more goat cheese)
Fresh parsley – chopped
Fresh grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
S&P to taste
Roast the beets & garlic.
With a mortar & pestle, grind the rosemary into 1 tsp salt.
Heat 1 TBS olive oil & cook the shallots & fennel for 5-7 minutes – or until browned. Add the rosemary salt.
In a food processor – blend the roasted beets, roasted garlic, caramelized fennel & shallots, tomato, goat cheese, cream cheese and S&P to taste. Add water if it is too thick.
Cook the cavatelli in boiling water until they all float to the top. Drain them & toss with the sauce. Garnish with more crumbled goat cheese and grated Parmesan & chopped parsley and/or the dilly part of the fennel.
Enjoy! And have a happy Valentine’s Day!