Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In the Beginning, there were beets...

I'm pretty sure it all started with a beet salad. A new camera and a few new inspiring cookbooks for Christmas helped too. Also, my growing obsession with planning and cooking dinner on a daily basis was all consuming and I had no where to funnel that creative outlet other than my gut (which, thanks to a stint at Weight Watchers last year, is finally under control).

For some reason that raw beet salad from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" was so beautiful I decided to take a picture of it. From there I decided to start a photo album on Picasa and take pictures of dinner every night, adding a short caption about the meal. After about 30 of those, I decided I was having such a good time with it that I wanted to make it a little more elaborate and post them to a blog, where I could write a few more comments and post the entire recipe.

So here we are.

My main goal for this little project is still the same: I get a lot of enjoyment out of cooking, so I just want to be able to remember the things we make and hopefully become a better cook along the way. So this blog is mostly for me. But of course it would be more fun if other people read it and posted comments, so we can all be motivated to cook and get ideas from each other.

I'll start off with the recipe that started this whole project:

Raw Beet Salad
adapted from Mark Bittman's "
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"
4 Servings

1 to 1 1/2 pounds beets, preferably small
2 large shallots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry or other good strong vinegar
1 sprig fresh tarragon, minced, if available (in my case, it was not, because I didn't want to go to the store, but I do love tarragon)
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

1. Peel the beets, and either manually grate them by hand or use a food processor (we used our food processor fitted with the shredding disc and it made it super quick). Peel and mince the shallots. Alternatively, you can shred them in the food processor with the beets, but I thought mincing them would mellow the onion flavor a bit more (I'm not sure if it did or not, since I didn't try them shredded first, but it was good anyway!).

2. In a medium bowl, combine the beets, shallots, salt, pepper, mustard, oil, and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve.


  1. Am I your first comment?? Awesome, I win!!
    I think this is a really great idea, and I admire your discipline!! Someone should give you a book deal and then a movie like Julia Powell. Only don't let it ruin your marriage like it did hers

  2. Is that what she writes about in her newest book? It's on my bookshelf but I haven't read it yet. Sad!

  3. I love it! I wish I lived near you so I could just "pop in" and eat dinner with you all the time. You would love that wouldn't you, haha.

  4. Haha, I would actually love that. I wish we could hang out more often, now that we actually get along! :-)


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