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Five Spice Beets

August 26, 2009

I have always loved beets. They are firm to the bite but soft in the mouth. They have great texture and are naturally sweet. They give themselves to almost any flavor profile you have in mind but always show themselves brilliantly. 5 spice beetsThey are also healthy which is a bonus.

I peeled the beets and cut them into matchsticks. I boiled them for about five minutes just until tender but still holding their shape (a slight bend when picked up at one end). I dropped them in ice water to stop the cooking and capture the bright purple color (blanching). The sauce – 1 Tb of five spice powder (clove, cinnamon, fennel, Star anise and Szechuan peppercorns) into ¼ C milk. Bring it to a simmer and turn it off. The warm milk softens the powder so it is not grainy. After letting that sit for ten minutes I stirred it into some sour cream with a touch of salt. Top with toasted pine nuts and fresh mint!

I love this dish because it is so clean and light yet so full of flavor. It is the perfect summer dish or appetizer when you want to save plenty of room for the main course. On the first bite you get the firm texture of the sweet beet. Your mouth warms up as the five spice builds and then the cream cools it down. Pine nuts are natural pills of pleasure. Once toasted they transform into such a creamy, nutty full flavored addition to many dishes. The mint is a refreshing foil to it all. You finish the dish and you are fully satisfied but not full. Enjoy!

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. debbie permalink
    August 27, 2009 12:40 pm

    the beets sound okay but having grown up with beets from the garden there is nothing like a beet just picked, gently simmered, sliced when done and covered with s/p and, of course, butter. but then, that is not peculiar to beets but to many vegetables from the garden day one.

    The Pho sounds great and likely will be tried.

    Although weeks hence, Malbec’s are almost always from Argentina, not Australia. The Punta fina was not available here. Zolo was good and Trapiche should be good too. we’ll see.

    thanks again. like all the comments and pointers. even the tomato helpers as it were.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 30, 2009 9:01 am

      thank you debbie. Jeffrey 🙂

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