While Petra is on a bike tour in Europe with her family (from Berlin to Copenhagen!), I’m discovering the Pacific Northwest with husband and kids in a car. Especially in Seattle and Portland it’s hard not too have great food. I’m thrilled seeing so many good and beautiful restaurants (soon I’ll post some must-go addresses). Summer beets appear on almost every menu and as a true beet lover I got inspired. So here are two easy starters.
RAW BEET SALAD WITH HORSERADISH & MACKEREL
Made with raw beets and incredibly easy and quick to prepare.
Starter, serves 6
Action Time: 10-15 minutes
2 raw red beets (preferably with greens attached), peeled
4 oz/125 ml sour cream
1 tbsp grated horseradish (fresh or out of a jar)
1 tbsp capers (jar), drained
lemon juice, to taste
5 oz/150 g smoked peppered mackerel filet
3 scallions, sliced
a few sprigs of fresh dill
bread, to serve
Extra: coarse grater or food processor
1. Grate the beets coarsely (with the aid of a food processor). In a bowl, mix the beets with the sour cream, horseradish, and capers. Add some lemon juice to taste, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Divide the beet mixture over plates and put a piece of mackerel filet on top. Scatter over the scallions and garnish with dill and, if you like, a beet leaf. Serve with crusty bread.
ROASTED BEETS WITH GARLIC-DILL YOGHURT & WALNUTS
This is one of my favorite appetizers for ‘sharing’. I like to prepare it with walnut oil, but olive oil will do as well. By roasting the beets you bring out the sweet flavor.
Starter, serves 4-6
Action time: 15 minutes, plus 40-60 minutes roasting time and colling
4 big or 6 small raw beets
olive oil, for rubbing
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp walnut oil (or olive oil), plus extra
4-5 heaped tbsp Greek Yoghurt
2 garlic gloves, crushed
a small handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
2 scallions, sliced
a small handful of walnuts, coarsely chopped
Extra: aluminum foil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200°C. Trim the beet greens. Wash the beets and rub them with a little olive oil. Put the beets in a baking dish and sprinkle with some salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake the beets, depending on their size, for 40-60 minutes. They are done if they can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool.
2. Peel and slice the beets. Put in a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp vinegar and some salt. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the garlic-dill yoghurt.
3. In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt with the garlic and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Taste the beets and add some more vinegar and salt if you like. Add the walnut oil (or olive oil) and some freshly ground pepper. Arrange the beet slices on a large serving plate. Scoop the garlic-dill yoghurt on top. Garnish with scallions, extra dill and walnuts. Drizzle some extra oil over and grind some extra pepper over. Serve with crusty bread.