Mr. Italicano and I eat a lot of whole grains like Kamut®, couscous, farro, quinoa, miglio etc. Although quite boring and bland :: insipido on their own, like pasta, one of the best ways to serve these dishes is with varied and flavorful homemade sauces. Last week I made a delicious kale pesto, this week I wanted to experiment with another seasonal produce, and thusly chose beets.
Unfortunately, there is one vegetable that Mr. Italicano doesn’t like. Yup, you guessed it: beets! I, however, love them. I have fond memories in the vegetable garden :: orto with my mother as a child carefully using the small hand shovel to loosen the dirt before pulling the bright green stems with both hands to reveal the giant red treasure. Even if I had already pulled 10 in a row, unearthing a beet was like opening a gift—each time there was an element of surprise of what Mother Nature has given you.
I bought two beets and gave myself a challenge; I wanted to see if I could prepare them in a way that Mr. Italicano could appreciate them as well. I took on the clever tactic that many parents do with their children :: bambini: blend the vegetable up, mix it in a dish and whatever you do, don’t reveal it’s contents. It worked! I served the beet sauce mixed into farro and topped with roasted carrots. Mr. Italicano raved about how good it was. Later on that week, I used it on top of rice cakes. Yum.
- 7oz (200g) feta
- 1 pound beets (1 large beet or two small ones)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 squeeze of a lemon
- 1 pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°).
- Wash the beets well and wrap each one in a piece of aluminum foil. Place on a cookie sheet with raised lips or in a baking dish in case the liquid drizzles out.
- Cook for 50-60 minutes, opening the foil and checking half way through. The cooking time will depend on the size of the beets.
- The beets are ready when you can easily poke a fork in the center. Let them cool slightly then use a paper towel to rub the skin off. If the skin is not easily coming off, put the beets back in the oven for a few minutes.
- After the skin has been removed, blend all of the ingredients together and serve as a spread with raw vegetables and crackers or as a sauce mixed into grains like farro, Kamut®, couscous, millet, quinoa etc. For alternative flavor options you could also add to the recipe above: ½ tablespoon apple vinegar or ¼ teaspoon grated ginger or 1 clove garlic. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.