beautiful borscht

This is not anyone's traditional borscht. This recipe was not handed down by anyone's grandmother. This did not come from a cookbook of Eastern European food. It just came from having too many beets lying around and a craving for borscht.

I used:
  • 5 beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • vegetable oil
  • several cups chicken broth (but beef might be better, or veggie if you swing that way)
  • cumin to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • use a cup or two shredded cabbage if you have it, I didn't
  • cilantro to garnish
  • plain yogurt (or sour cream) to garnish
  1. Boil beets until they are tender (easily stabbed w/a dinner fork)
  2. drain beets, reserving a cup or so of cooking water, and let cool
  3. in large cast iron skillet sautee onions in oil
  4. add garlic to onions after a few minutes
  5. (if you have cabbage add it now)
  6. add carrots and sautee until barely tender
  7. add cumin and can tomatoes (un-drained) to skillet and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes
  8. meanwhile cut cooled beets in to pieces your blender can handle (peel if desired)
  9. remove skillet from heat and let cool
  10. place beets, tomato mixture, and broth in blender, reserving a few scoops to add texture
  11. blend the dell out of it
  12. add more broth and water from beets until borscht is the desired consistency
  13. stir in reserved veggies
  14. serve topped w/ a scoop of yogurt and pinch of chopped cilantro
This made enough borscht to feed two people bowls at least once a day over four days

appetizer as dinner

I've been trying to bake bread. So far it's hit or miss, with the hits coming almost solely from the no-knead bread recipe full deserving of it's fame.

Last week I tried to make some french baguettes from Mark Bittman's excellent book "How to Cook Everything." They weren't awful, just a little denser than I'd like (I think more yeast next time or starting w/ slightly warmer water will help.)

So I had a meh baguette and lots of veggies from the farm box and about zero desire to cook dinner- what to do?

easy-peasy bruschetta to the rescue!

You'll need:

  • baguette
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • haricots verts (green beans, I'm just feeling fancy today)
  • salami
  • garlic
  • tomatoes (I had small yellow cherry tomatoes)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. cut baguette into slices on the slight diagonal
  2. drizzle cookie sheet w/ olive oil, place bread on top and drizzle w/ more oil
  3. broil bread until golden brown
I was really lazy an not in the mood for complex cooking so did this the easy way, but you could be far more gourmet about it than I was
  1. chop haricots verts into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. chop salami into small cubes
  3. put beans and salami in microwave steamer and nuke until beans are just tender but still have a some crunch
  4. mince garlic
  5. thinly slice tomatoes
  6. add tomatoes and garlic to beans and salami
  7. add a little olive oil
  8. salt & pepper to taste
  9. microwave another 30 seconds or so
  10. place bread on plates
  11. top w/ veggie-meat mixture
  12. serve