Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Post: Golden Beet Off!

Now... before you start laughing profusely at the name of this post - I didn't realize that it was a hidden innuendo at first.  But really, there's nothing else we could call it - so we kept it!

Oh, and who is this "we" I talk about?  Well me, of course.  And Kristy from Gastronomical Sovereignty!  Who is Kristy?  Well, for one, she's awesome!  She writes an amazing blog that talks about food, wine, and everything under the sun.  And not to mention she's absolutely gorgeous!

Kristy approached me not too long ago in an e-mail after noticing we both got our fair share of golden beets in our CSA shares.  So she came up with the fun idea of a little friendly competition.  A "Beet Off," if you will.  Yeah, the immature person in me just can't help but laugh at that name.  But I digress.

Anyway, of course I was game!  And we're leaving it up to you to decide who's is "better"!  Of course, in a perfect world, and in my own humble opinion, we both win.  But Kristy especially wins because she actually used golden beets!  I had used up all of mine by the time I got her e-mail, and for some reason I couldn't find any in town when I needed them!  So I picked up some red beets and ran with it.  Be sure to check out Kristy's blog today for my guest post, and to see what I came up with!  And don't forget to let us know which you like better - we definitely encourage you to get your beet-on and try the recipes out for yourself!

So now, without further ado (I know I've babbled on way too long), here's Kristy!

Hello lovely Peggy viewers! My name's Kristy and I live at Gastronomical Sovereignty - a space where I navigate and share my ethical adventures in culinary deliciousness... with wine, of course! 

After realizing Peggy and I shared a love affair with the golden beets that were coming in our CSA boxes, I was so very pumped when Peggy and I decided to exchange guest posts in a "Golden Beet Off". Your challenge, dear reader, is to try both and delve into the absolute deliciousness that are golden beets.

Beets to me are the spirit of the Earth. They embody the richness, the sweetness, and the dirtness of everything that is right with the world. Dirtness? Really? They do taste a bit like dirt. But in a good way. A seriously good way. And they really are low maintenance vegetables - before they are harvested and after! You don't even need to cook them! Just julienne and tuck into some goat cheese goodness! 

For today though, I decided to do something special with the little guys. Or gals, if you prefer. This recipe is simple, delicious, seasonal, local, small scale, organic perfection. It was so simple in fact, I asked my partner (John) if maybe it was too simple to be worthy as a guest post! However, after a few bites I was smitten - and I'm sure you will be too. All of the vegetables either came in our CSA or from our very own front yard garden. Serve as a vegetarian friendly main or a meat friendly side. The cooking time is minimal here so you can spend more time out on the deck (with a big fat glass of vino) and less time hovering over a hot stove in the middle of a balmy August, while the measurements are approximate. Add more or less of whatever you like - make it your own! It just doesn't get any fresher than this!

"Golden Beet Off" Quinoa Salad
feeds approximately 4 hungry people.

Ingredients for Salad:
1 C Quinoa, soaked and rinsed.
10 Medium Sized Golden Beets, rinsed and dried.
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled.
1 Large Handful Sugar Snap Peas, strings removed.
2 Handfuls Fresh Arugula, washed. 
1 C Toasted Walnuts.
One Palm Fresh Goats Cheese.
Bunch of Fresh Herbs (i.e. Basil, Parsley, Chives).
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin.
Juice of Half a Lemon.
1 C Chicken Stock + 1 C Water.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

Ingredients for Dressing:

1 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
1/3 C Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar.
Juice of Half a Lemon.
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. While it heats up, throw the beets, peeled garlic cloves, a generous helping of salt and pepper, and a few good glugs of olive oil into a large roasting pan. Toss well to combine. Cover. Roast for 30 - 45 minutes or until fork tender. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut off their bums and peel using your thumb and forefinger. But be gentle, new beets are very tender and if you push too hard you may mangle them - but whatevs, they'll still taste great! Besides, if the beets are still quite warm, they should peel easily. If not, use a pairing knife or potato peeler. Cut into halves and/or quarters and set aside. Discard the garlic - it will likely be burnt. It was more there to give an essence of garlic flavor rather than a punch in the face. Or, munch along as you prepare the rest of the meal.

While the beets are a'roastin, chuck all the dressing ingredients into a mason jar. Close and shake well. Season to taste. Set aside. If you don't have a mason jar, a whisk and bowl will work to the same effect.

While your beets cool, heat a medium sized sauce pan over high heat with the chicken stock, water, cumin, and the juice of half a lemon. Once it's at a rolling boil, toss in the quinoa, stir, and bring back to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low to simmer for 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10. Fluff with a fork.

Holy multi-tasking batman! As the quinoa sits, heat only about a tbsp of oil in a small pan and quickly flash sautee the peas for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

Assembly time!

Throw all of the salad ingredients into a bowl and toss well. Drizzle in about half the dressing and stir to combine. You may want to add more salt and pepper at this time - it's up to you. Taste it. Yum? No? Add more salt and pepper and/or dressing to suit your liking.

Serve with some toasted flatbread (I usually pour some of the dressing onto a side plate to dip it in).

Eat. A lot. It's healthy and super duper good for you. 

There it is! I hope you like it!! I sure do! Come by and say hello over at my site ( if you have the time - Peggy will be there. Food block party pot luck?! Heck yes! Nice to meet all of you - hope to be seeing you soon!

Kristy Gardner
Lascivious lover of good, "ethical" food & wine.

Facebook: Gastronomical Sovereignty
Twitter: gsonblogger


  1. oh no Peggy! I think you win... baked goods always win. ;) XO!

  2. Love quinoa and this recipe really makes it shine. Went to visit Krystie...
    Way to go Peggy! Looks wonderfully good!Love all your photos; keeping this one for sure.

  3. Great recipe!! I love the name of the challenge, lol =]

  4. This dish is beautiful!
    I love beets, any kind :)

    I honestly didn't get the innuendo until you pointed it out. I live under a rock :)

  5. Like the name of this post Peggy :-) I love beat's natural color and sweetness..Nice post.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. What a wonderful idea to do this guest post Kristy! Your salad looks refreshing and really delicious. I love the lovely color of golden beets and this colorful salad is very inviting!

  7. Awesome salad as I call it Peggy but the beets we get here is only the dark purplish ones, so its limited with only that one type to explore and using into cooking.

  8. What a wonderful guest post, I'm loving that recipe! There's nothing better than bonding through the love of ingredients. Thanks for posting! =]



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