My Dad's Beef Stew

Turnips are one of those funny vegetables: Many people object to the idea of them, but when you braise them slowly in a stew, particularly a peppery beef-based broth, they take on levels of umami flavor that even the pickiest of vegetable eaters can’t resist. This stew just screams snowy winter afternoon and pairs nicely with a deep Cabernet—two things I associate with my father who cooks this stew for football Sunday up in New Hampshire. You can also fancy it up and add a fresh richness with a dollop of herb butter preserved from when herbs are in peak season.

Serves 8 (or 4 with leftovers)

What you need:

  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme (optional)

  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into bite sized chunks

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • ¼ cup red wine (optional)

  • 1 quart beef stock, store bought or homemade

  • 2 medium turnips (approximately 2 pounds), cut into a large dice

  • ½–2 cups water

  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into a medium dice

  • 6 medium carrots, roll cut or cut into ¼-inch rounds or half moons for really large carrots

  • 4 ribs celery, cut into ½-inch slices

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Herb butter for serving

What you do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Add the beef pieces and toss with the flour mixture.

  2. In a dutch oven or large stock pot, heat the oil over high heat.

  3. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the beef and brown it on all sides, approximately 8 minutes, or until a crust forms. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the remaining fat, sauté the onion with a few pinches of salt until softened.

  4. Add the red wine, scraping up brown bits as you whisk it in. Add the stock, slowly whisking in a half-cup at a time, and letting it bubble and thicken, before adding more. Bring to a simmer.

  5. Return the beef to the pot. Add the turnips and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the water half a cup at a time, as needed to reach your desired consistency.

  6. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and a few pinches of salt, and simmer, partially covered, for 90 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the stew thickens slightly. If the stew is still thin, you can remove 6 to 8 potato pieces, mash them with a fork, and whisk them into ½ cup of stew liquid. Then return the liquid to the pot.

  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes longer, until vegetables and stew reach your desired consistency.

  8. Portion into bowls and serve with a dollop of herb butter, if desired.

Variations:

  • use diced celery root (celeriac) in addition to or in place of the turnips or celery

  • use dried rosemary along with the thyme or add rosemary and/or thyme sprigs to the cooking liquid

  • swap the balsamic vinegar for apple cider vinegar

To Freeze: Cool stew thoroughly. Consider what size portions you might want to have and use appropriately sized containers or freezer bags to store stew in (I like mine in 2-cup portions). If using bags, place in freezer flat and let harden for 2 hours before placing bag upright for storage.

To Reheat: Defrost the stew in its bag or container in the refrigerator for about 6 to 8 hours (some remaining ice chunks are okay). Transfer the stew to a soup pot. Heat covered, over medium heat, breaking up ice as needed. Add beef broth to thin if needed while reheating.

Masala Chai

MASALA CHAI

Yield: 4-5 cups

I used to purchase the spice blends to make masala chai tea, but then I started paying attention to the whole spices that were in these pre-mixed blends. Over time, I determined what I like to taste a lot of and what I like just a little hint of, and what I don’t like at all. So now, I make masala chai tea from my own blend of whole spices to steep in the liquid along with the tea leaves. You can adjust your spice blend to your taste as well. I also combine my spice blend and tea leaves in a 50/50 mix to store in my pantry together for even quicker preparation of masala chai tea. Drink this for your afternoon tea time, chill and serve over ice for a refreshing summer drink, or convert into Chai Latte Ice Cream.

 My own masala chai spice blend combined with black Assam tea leaves

My own masala chai spice blend combined with black Assam tea leaves

What you need:

  • 3 cups water

  • 2-3 tablespoons black tea leaves, Assam recommended

  • 2-3 tablespoons masala chai whole spice blend (see below for my recipe)

  • 3 cups milk, whole cow milk recommended

  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar or honey, optional

What you do:

  1. Heat water, black tea leaves and whole spice blend in a medium pot over high heat until boiling.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, add milk and stir to combine. Heat until liquid is just steaming, then reduce to low and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Be careful to not boil the milk.

  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar or honey, if using, until dissolved.

  4. Strain the tea. Discard tea leaves and spices. Enjoy hot or chill in the refrigerator and serve over ice.


Masala CHai Spice Blend

Makes: about 1/2 cup or 3-4 pots of tea

What you need:

  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 tablespoons or 5-6 whole star anise

  • 2 tablespoons cardamom pods

  • 2 heaping tablespoons whole cloves

  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries

  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns

What you do:

  1. Place the cinnamon sticks and star anise on a cutting board. Using a large heavy pot or glass jar, smash the cinnamon sticks and star anise until broken into 1/2 inch shards and pieces.

  2. Combine the broken cinnamon sticks and star anise pieces with whole cardamom, cloves, allspice berries, fennel seeds, black and white peppercorns and mix thoroughly.

Spiced Baked Brown Basmati Rice

BAKED SPICED BROWN BASMATI RICE

Yield: serves 8

  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, washed
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 3 ½ cups boiling water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat conventional oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a 3-4 inch deep baking dish, add rice and dry roast rice approximately 10 minutes (or until dry and fragrant).
  3. Stir oil into rice and bake 3-4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add boiling water, whole spices and salt: stir once; cover baking dish with tightly fitting lid or foil.
  5. Cook covered, about 40 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to sit on counter for 5 minutes.
  7. Fluff gently with a fork.

Jerk Lamb Shepherd's Pie

Jerk Lamb Shepherd's Pie

Yield: Serves 6

What you need:

  • 3 red or yukon gold potatoes, about 1 ½ cups cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 3 medium carrots, small dice
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 bunch cooking greens, chopped (such as mizuna, chard, kale, mustard greens)
  • 1 lb ground lamb (or beef)
  • 1 - 1 ½ cups spring jerk marinade (below)

What you do:

  1. Place the cubed potatoes into a large stock pot and cover with cool water. Add a generous handful of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Using a ricer or potato masher, mash the potatoes, adding butter if desired.
  2. In a medium pot fitted with a steamer basket, add water to just above the basket. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots and a few pinches of kosher salt. Steam until the carrots are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add the chopped greens and a pinch of salt and sauté until they are soft. Remove greens from pan and set aside.
  4. Using the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the ground lamb, breaking it up with a spoon until you have ½ inch crumbles. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and sauté until cooked through.
  5. Add the jerk marinade to the lamb. Cook about 5-7 minutes until the marinade is absorbed into the lamb and the lamb breaks down further into smaller crumbles.
  6. Preheat the broiler. In an oven- proof casserole dish, layer the lamb, followed by carrots and greens and top with the mashed potatoes.
  7. Heat under the broiler on high for about 12 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crisp.

To Freeze: Wrap casseroles tightly with plastic wrap. Label with contents and reheating instructions.

To Reheat: Thaw overnight or for at least 12 hours in refrigerator. Preheat broiler. Remove plastic wrap and broil under high for 12-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crisp and the center is warmed.

Spring Jerk Marinade

Yield: ~ 4 ½ cups

What you need:

  • 2 shallots or small spring onions, about ½ cup large dice
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch scallions, top ⅓ of green removed, roughly chopped
  • 4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped, about ¼ cup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons tamari soy sauce or shoyu
  • ½ cup lime juice, approximately 4 limes
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh thyme, leaves and tender stems only, approximately ½ cup
  • 6-8 habanero peppers
  • 6 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water

What you do:

  1. Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until completely pureed.
  2. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Be judicious with the chili peppers. The heat level will intensify over time.
  3. Freeze unused portion for up to one year.

 

Shaved Brussel Sprout, Apple and Walnut Salad with Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

A refreshing salad that can be made ahead, packed for lunch, and eaten later. The hearty brussel sprouts combined with the tartness of the apple, richness of the walnuts and smokiness of the spiced chickpeas are the perfect mouthful, all cut with the acidic sweetness of a health supportive vinaigrette. But this salad is also versatile. You can swap the shaved brussel sprouts for a chiffonade of kale or use baby kale or spinach. Trade in the walnuts for pecans or pumpkin seeds. Use any spices you like or have on hand to season the chickpeas.

Yield: 6-8 servings

What you need:

For the salad:

  • 2 large tart and firm apples, such as empire, rome, or granny smith
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 2 shallots or 1 red onion (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or apple cider
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the chickpeas:

  • 1 ¾ cups cooked (or canned and rinsed) chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pinches sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked spanish paprika (or hungarian paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

What you do:

Prepare the salad:

  1. Remove the seeds and core and slice the apples into thin slices. Set aside in a bowl and squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon over the apple slices.
  2. Trim the brussel sprouts and cut into very thin slices with a sharp knife. Alternatively, shave the brussel sprouts using a food processor fitted with the grating attachment. Add to the bowl with the apple slices.
  3. If using, slice the shallot or onion into very thin slices. Place in a bowl of ice cold water.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove walnuts from the pan. Allow to cool slightly (2 minutes) and then chop. Add to the bowl with the apple slices and brussel sprouts.

Mix the Dressing:

  1. Put all dressing ingredients into a pint size glass jar. Close the lid tightly and shake vigorously until all ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and adjust acid and seasoning if needed.
  2. Pour the dressing over the apple, brussel sprout and walnut mixture.
  3. Drain the shallot/onion pieces and add to the salad.
  4. Toss to mix everything together and coat evenly with dressing.
  5. Allow to sit at least 15 minutes before serving with spiced chickpeas. It will also keep well refrigerated for a day or more.

Prepare the spiced chickpeas:

  1. Using a clean kitchen towel, pat the chickpeas dry.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the salt, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder. Add the olive oil to make a paste.
  3. Add the chickpeas to the bowl and toss to coat.
  4. Roast the chickpeas in one of two ways: Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in oven at 400 degrees until lightly browned and toasted, about 15 minutes. Or Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and toast until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir or shake the pan occasionally.
  5. Top each portion of salad with about ¼ cup spiced chickpeas.

Sweet Potato Waffles

These subtly sweet and arguably healthy waffles are perfect for giving new life to leftover cooked sweet potatoes or neglected vegetable purees. I also highly recommend making a batch and freezing for easy kid friendly weekday breakfast. These are actually improved after freezing and a quick toast. No need to defrost first. Just pop a frozen waffle in your toaster at your preferred setting.

Makes ~6 waffles

What you need:

  • 1 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir or drinkable yogurt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

What you do:

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  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, maple syrup and vanilla. Add most of the butter (reserving about 1 tablespoon for brushing the waffle iron) and whisk swiftly.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix in a few swift strokes with a rubber spatula. It's okay if some of the dry ingredients are not fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. Heat up your waffle iron. While it is heating, with a whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not over mix. You are done when you see small pieces of whites speckling the batter.
  6. Brush both sides of waffle iron with melted butter. Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the waffle iron leaving room for spread. Cook 4-5 minutes or according to the setting of your iron. Serve immediately with maple syrup or keep warm in a low oven.
  7. Freezer tip: cool on a wire rack before transferring to a freezer safe container.

Notes:

  • Change the spices to suit your taste. Feel free to use more or less cinnamon, ginger, or cloves, remove altogether or add other spices like nutmeg.
  • My vegetable mash of choice for waffles is the flesh (skins discarded) of oven baked/roasted sweet potatoes, but other roasted and steamed vegetables and fruits substitute nicely. Try squash, pumpkin, carrots, beets, apples or combination. See my note in the Shopping in Your Freezer post regarding using what you have.
  • If you don't have kefir or drinkable yogurt, you can use about 5+ oz plain Greek yogurt whisked together with enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups of thick liquid. Buttermilk also works.

Spicy Root Vegetable and Sausage Hash with Soft Boiled Eggs

Adapted from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

This is a go to winter recipe for make ahead breakfast and lunch. Just reheat and top with a soft-boiled egg you made in a large batch over the weekend. Adjust the heat level to your personal taste by dialing up (or back) the amount of jalapeno or by adding some cayenne pepper. If you're monitoring your sodium, try this recipe with ground chicken or turkey in place of the sausage and increase the spices. I like to add fennel seeds in this case. You can also vary the root vegetables - try yukon golds, parsnips and turnips too.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 large sweet potato, medium dice
  • 2 large carrots, medium dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ red onion, small dice
  • 2 jalapenos, halved, seeds and membranes removed, sliced into ¼ inch strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, loose (not in casing), turkey or pork
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage or 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 6 eggs

Procedure:

  1. In a pressure cooker, cook beets until tender, about 15-20 minutes.* Allow to cool. Peel and cut into medium dice.
  2. Fill a medium pot with water to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. Insert steamer basket. Add sweet potatoes and carrots and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, steam until vegetables are tender but maintain their shape, about 8 minutes. Remove lid, remove from stove and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add jalapeños and garlic and sauté another minute. If you are using dried herbs, add them at this time and sauté for another 30 seconds. Move to the cooler side of the pan.
  5. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon or a fork, and cook on medium high heat until cooked through.
  6. Add in the beets, sweet potato, and carrots, and, if using, the fresh herbs. Add a pinch of salt and stir gently to combine while on medium high heat. Heat through.
  7. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Gently add in eggs. When water comes back to a boil, set timer for 6 minutes. Prepare an ice bath. After 6 minutes, quickly remove eggs from pot with a slotted spoon and drop into ice bath. Peel and serve on top of hash. See my blog for a step by step photographed tutorial on soft boiled eggs.

*If you do not have a pressure cooker, wash, peel and cut beets into small dice. Then steam in pot with steamer basket, separately from other root vegetables, about 7 minutes.

Roasted Beet Hummus

The subtle punch of clove is a welcomed surprise in this colorful hummus with warming spices. My family's pickles beets, which include whole cloves in the pickling liquid, inspired the flavors of this hummus that is perfect for winter's chill.

Makes: 1½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium beet
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, divided
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and scrub beet. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap in foil and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool.

2. In a small sauté pan, on medium high heat, toast the cumin, cinnamon, and cloves just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. When beet is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Put beet and garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor. Purée until finely chopped.

4. Add the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, half of the lemon juice, toasted spices, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper or salt if needed.

5. Serve with pita chips or vegetable slices or spread on a sandwich or wrap.

 

Variations:

  • Substitute a sweet potato for the beet and roast without foil. Use cumin, cayenne, dried ground chipotle and/or smoked paprika for the spices. Use chickpeas or substitute black beans.
  • Instead of beet, use ½ cup of any cooked vegetable (skins removed, roasted, grilled, or steamed), such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, or squash.
  • Substitute ½ cup of prepared pesto for the roasted vegetable, decrease the olive oil to 2 tablespoons, and omit the spices.
  • Use lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar in place of the lemon juice.
  • In place of the beet, add an entire head of garlic roasted in olive oil. Decrease the olive oil to 2 tablespoons. Use chickpeas or substitute navy or cannellini beans.

 

Vegan Pumpkin Flax Bread

Yield: 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds (or flaxseed meal)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With canola oil, grease bottoms and sides of a standard loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans and place mini loaf pans on a sheet pan).

  2. In a small bowl combine the ground flax seeds and hot water. Mix and set aside until all water is absorbed.

  3. Sift together and whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1½ teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.

  4. Combine the apple cider and vanilla. Set aside.

  5. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the canola oil and 1 cup of sugar on high speed about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides and bottoms frequently. Add the flaxseed mixture and pumpkin and beat until smooth.

  6. In 3 additions, alternately with the apple cider & vanilla mixture, add the sifted ingredients, beating in between each addition just until combined. Do not overbeat.

  7. Spread batter into greased loaf pan(s). In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the batter.

  8. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour for regular loaf pan and 35 minutes for mini loaves or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  9. Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes, and then continue to cool in pan or remove and allow to cool on a baking rack.

Freezer option: wrap loaves or slices tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or toast before enjoying.

Roasted Red Pepper Muhammara Sauce

Yeild: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers (1 pound)
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine or apple cider vinegar

Procedure:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toast walnuts until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

  2. Rub bell peppers with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Roast peppers until charred. Alternatively, roast peppers over open flame of gas burner or grill, rotating every few minutes, until skin is charred all around.

  3. Remove peppers from oven (or flame) and place in a bowl. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow to cool.

  4. Peel charred skin from peppers. Discard. Cut open pepper and remove seeds and white pith. Discard.

  5. Combine pepper flesh, garlic, pomegranate molasses, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and walnuts in bowl of food processor and puree.

  6. Add breadcrumbs, black pepper, olive oil, vegetable stock/water, and vinegar. Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning and add more lemon juice if needed.

Parsley Walnut Pesto

Yield: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup walnut, canola, or olive oil
  • zest from one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Procedure:

  1. Remove the parsley leaves from the stems, discard stems. You should get about 2 cups of loosely packed leaves.

  2. Put the parsley, walnuts and garlic into the food processor and turn it on.

  3. Add the oil while the food processor is running.

  4. Stop scrape sides and taste.

  5. Add lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper, and salt.

  6. Close lid and turn on food processor again for just 30 seconds longer.

  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Cavatelli with Beet Green Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup walnut pieces

  • 1 bunch of beets with tops attached

  • 2 T olive oil

  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice

  • 1/2 cup canola oil

  • 1 t sea salt

  • 1 tsp of freshly ground pepper

  • 1 pound dry cavatelli pasta

  • 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into quarter inch pieces

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. On a sheet tray, toast walnut pieces until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  3. Remove the beet tops from the beet roots. Wash and dry greens thoroughly. Roughly chop.

  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Scrub beets thoroughly. Quarter large beet roots and leave small ones whole, so that pieces are no larger than 1-2 inches. Toss with olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until beets are tender.

  5. Combine beet greens, ginger root, orange juice, and walnuts in a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined. Stop to scrape down sides.

  6. Turn food processor back on and while running, slowly stream in the canola oil. Stop to scrape down sides and continue processing if needed. You should have a finely blended paste. Season with salt and pepper.

  7. At this point, you can set aside about 1 cup of the pesto for use in the recipe and freeze the remainder in a plastic freezer storage bag.

  8. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente or according to package instructions. Drain. Reserve about ¼ cup cooking liquid.

  9. Toss pasta with 1 cup of pesto. Add cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time to help toss pasta. Top with roasted beets and crumbled goat cheese.