Monthly Archives: June 2012

ffwd: lime and honey beet salad

I can’t believe it’s already Friday again. This month is passing by at lightning speed. And other than Dorie recipes, I haven’t cooked anything interesting this month.

I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned it before, but beets are one of my favorite vegetables. I didn’t discover this until I was out of my parents’ house and cooking on my own, but once I had tasted their sweet earthy goodness, I was hooked.

My favorite way to eat beets is as beet salad, and my favorite recipe for them includes walnuts and lots of mustardy vinaigrette. Here’s that recipe. However, I’m always open to new ideas. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is Lime and Honey Beet Salad, so I was happy to try something different.

I prefer beets roasted to steamed, so that’s how I cooked them. After an hour in the oven, the skin usually slips right off, making a non-fuss preparation. Cookbooks always caution about the possibility of stained fingers when peeling the beets this way, but I’ve never had it happen.

The beets are cut into wedges and tossed with a refreshing vinaigrette spiked with lime zest and lime juice along with honey (not my own yet). Some chopped fresh herbs add some color. I used chives and thyme from my backyard herb garden.

The recipe made less than I thought. I used one bunch of beets but didn’t weigh it, so it must have been less than a pound. Two of us finished this off as a side in one meal.

I really liked Dorie’s beet salad. It had zing from the lime and an extra dose of sweetness from the honey (beets are so sweet on their own). I don’t think this version will displace my usual mustardy version as my go-to recipe, but it merits a place in the summer rotation.

I also tried the Grated Carrot Salad from AMFT this week. I was desperate for a fast vegetable side dish, and carrots seemed to be the only vegetable in the refrigerator. I didn’t have the two salads at the same meal, but they would have paired nicely. The carrot salad was delicious.

If you’d like the recipes for either of these salads, we don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. You won’t be sorry.

To read about other lime and honey beet salads made this week, check out the other bloggers’ links at French Fridays with Dorie.


ffwd: olive oil ice cream (or a sundae on sunday)

(I’m a little late, but better late than never…)

Many moons ago, Howard (the resident ice cream guy) was given an ice cream maker as a going-away gift when he left a job. That was over a decade ago, and we never actually used it. I’m mildly lactose-intolerant, so have to admit that ice cream has never been one of my favorite foods. However, this week’s assignment for French Fridays with Dorie, Olive Oil Ice Cream, seemed like the perfect opportunity to scare up all the parts and give the ice cream maker a ride.

The ice cream was easy enough to put together. Milk and cream were brought to a boil, then carefully whisked into an egg yolk and sugar mixture. The custard was then lightly cooked (though I slightly overheated it) and strained before whisking in olive oil and vanilla. Then, the mixture cools in a bowl set over ice and cold water.

It was fun to taste test the various extra virgin olive oils in the pantry to find one that was fruity and not peppery. I settled on a special Greek olive oil that I got for my birthday. It comes from a farm in Xirokambi, near Sparta, off the road that Paris and Helen of Troy used to run away together. (Thanks, Cass!)

The ice cream maker made quick work of turning the custard into ice cream. It took about 25 minutes. I tasted it before freezing it to ripen and harden, and it was just like vanilla ice cream.

Once hardened, it was time to eat the ice cream for real. I made a sundae with a brownie base, olive oil ice cream topped with fleur de sel caramel sauce. The ice cream was OK. The olive oil gave it a slightly unusual taste and texture. I’m not sure I liked it. Howard thought it was “weird”. We’ll finish it, but I’m not sure this ice cream will be making a repeat appearance at my house.

If you’d like to see how the other Doristas made out with their olive oil ice creams, check out their links here. If you’d like the recipe, you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

Now the big dilemma is what to do with the 5 egg whites in the fridge. I was browsing the May issue of Bon Appetit and came across this recipe for blackberry financiers, so that is a definite possibility. Any other ideas?