Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Golden Beets with Brussels Sprouts over Brown Basmati Rice

My wife loves beets though I almost never cook with them. Recently, I found golden beets in the store and thought that I would experiment with them in my slow cooker, maybe making a soup. But when it came time to put together tonight's meal, I had just a few hours and not all day, so the slow cooker was out. I saw an interesting golden beet and Brussels sprouts recipe on the web (the Simply Recipes blog by a woman named Elise Bauer), and modified it.

I put three medium golden beets into a pan of boiling water, and let them cook for about 45 minutes. I also set some brown basmati rice to cook in my rice cooker, using a 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice and a cube of vegan bouillon, cooking for about 50 minutes.

I removed the beets from the water and let them sit just a few minutes till they were comfortable to handle. I peeled them (they peeled easily and almost didn't even need a peeler) and cut them into chunks approximately 1" long and 1/2" in width and depth. I quickly parboiled some Brussels sprouts (from which I had removed a bit of the bottoms and the outermost leaves) in that same water for about 3 minutes to just cook all the way through. (I only had nine sprouts on hand, and used them all, but, though the recipe called for ten, think I would try something like this again with at least a dozen.) A few minutes later, once cool enough to handle, I cut the sprouts into halves.

I sauteed medium slices of one shallot and one clove elephant garlic in a small cast iron pan till translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Then I added the beets and sprouts, as well as about a tablespoon of rosemary needles, and cooked for just a minute or two. I transferred to a bowl, added a little Baja Lime marinade, salt, and freshly ground pepper, and served with the rice.

We really enjoyed the flavor! The recipe that I had found also incorporated a few tablespoons of toasted almond slivers and a tablespoon of thyme. Elise felt that thyme was important, but since I don't grow it, I used rosemary. I would like to try something like this again, but maybe include some potato and/or seitan as well.

By the way, on Saturday we found at Weaver Street Market a new product, leftover Living Harvest brand Hempmilkā„¢ made from hemp seeds. It's a nice product, creamy and refreshing, and I drank it with tonight's meal.

Yesterday, I had a special guest in the Gandhian non-violence class that I teach, Thakorbhai Parekh. He is 90 years old and marched in the Salt March with Gandhi in 1930, and continued to work on Gandhian campaigns into the 1950s. I had met him at the recent Gandhi sculpture installation (you can see a gallery of images from that event, including several pictures of him speaking and with the sculpture). After class, we had a dinner in his honor at Sitar India Palace nearby. What a nice meal! I hadn't been there in some years, preferring when we eat out at Indian restaurants to go to the vegetarian South Indian ones.

We had, for $13.50 apiece, all-inclusive, a big menu, all vegan and, as per Thakorbhai and his wife's diet, all without onions or garlic. We started with mango juice and samosas. The main courses spanned sampling both North (excellent channa masala [chickpeas] - some of the best I've ever had, aloo paratha flat bread stuffed with potato - the only dish I didn't like much, and basmati rice) and South (uttapam lentil-rice pancakes with coconut chutney, steamed rice cake idlis, and spicy sambar soup) Indian dishes. It was so good and so filling! We had a delicious vegan chocolate cake from Weaver Street Market leftover from this weekend, so brought that for dessert.


At Fri Feb 23, 06:35:00 PM EST, Blogger bazu said...

What a privilege to know this man, a living link to history. And, I have to say, your meal at the restaurant sounds fantastic- thank you for the descriptions.

At Fri Feb 23, 06:40:00 PM EST, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, bazu. It is an honor to know him and his wife - how lucky I am to have met them!


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