On Your Mark, Get Set: Dance to the BEET of Your Own Drum
by Brianna Bain
Thoroughly impressed and inspired by Sarah’s Great Scapes Chicken Kebabs, I have chosen beets as my relay item to advance into this weeks recipe. Beets have a magical pull for me, I can’t resist the urge to buy them even if I have I don’t have a recipe in mind. There is just something so wonderful about their rough, dirty exterior juxtaposing their smooth, sweet and rich jewel colored flesh. They can bring the most mundane recipes up a notch simply by their vibrant color.
In the spirit of Kebabs, I am taking a similar layering approach in this weeks recipe and attempting a variation on the most flexible of dishes, Ratatouille. Traditionally Ratatouille calls for tomato, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and a mixture of fresh herbs with olive oil, but there are very few rules, which makes this entree easy and fun to make your own. This will not be your mama’s plain old Ratatouille, I plan to create a hybrid between a veggie torte and a traditional layered baked veggie dish pulling from How to Cook Everything ( 373-375 pg.) I anticipate creating a flavorful puree to layer the veggies inspired by duxelle, a blend of mushroom, onions and traditionally butter or milk reduced to a paste, something my Dad uses for layering savory crepes. And finally, some sort of yummy garlic sauce to top it off for a complete satisfactory taste-bud experience.
This week’s ingredients have so far come from my visit to the Hillcrest Farmers Market, where I picked up a bunch of the most beautiful beets in a variety of colors, flavorful purple garlic, and some large sweet onions from JR organics. I found some lovely 8-ball squash perfect for layering, and the most vibrantly colored yellow squash I have ever seen. I recently joined the Tierra Miguel CSA and will be picking up my first share this week on Tuesday. This could make for some interesting surprises for Thursday’s post; I am not sure what will be in the box and I am counting on it for a few more items to add to my creation.
Well, here I go….
See you Thursday with my completed recipe!