Pickled Vegetables, Rose & Raspberry Beets, and Greens with Miso Dressing & Toasted Almonds

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Rosé & Raspberry Beets

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine, June 2013

This recipe plays with lots of natural flavors—the sweet and tart from the raspberries, the sweet and fermented from the rosé wine, and the traditional flavors of vinegar and sugar. Again, feel free to play with ingredients. I think this would be delicious on other vegetables like carrots or cauliflower that are sturdy and can hold up to deeper flavors.

          lb beets

          tbsp black peppercorns

         thyme sprigs

       cup raspberries

       cup dry rosé wine

¾        cup sugar

1/3       cup red wine vinegar

2          tsp salt

Roast whole beets in a 425°F oven until tender (check for tenderness at around 25 min). Peel and cut into 1-inch wedges. They can also be peeled and cut before roasting. Let cool. Place beets in glass jar or bowl with peppercorns and thyme. Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and raspberries begin to break down. Strain raspberry mixture through a sieve over a bowl and discard solids. Pour hot liquid over beets. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

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Greens With Miso Dressing & Toasted Almonds (vegan)

from Jenny Breen’s Cooking Up the Good Life: Creative Recipes for the Family Table, University of Minnesota Press, 2011)

Miso is the paste of fermented soybeans, the byproduct of making tofu. It is fermented with a variety of grains and beans to give it a wide range of flavors, colors and depths.  In many ways it is as complex as wine and should be appreciated and tasted similarly. Use it as the base for soups and sauces or even as a spread on crackers and toast.

This is the recipe that I use in cooking classes to prove to anyone that I can get them to eat leafy greens. People love this combination of sweet, spicy, savory, sour, and umami. The toasted sesame oil is balanced by the rice vinegar, which is complemented by the umami and fermented saltiness of the miso and tempered by the maple syrup, which works perfectly with the slightly acidic mustard, all of which are topped off with the crunch and flavor of the almonds. The dressing also is delicious on just about any vegetable, and even on proteins like tofu and fish.

Crushing almonds can be fun. You don’t need to use a knife or a tool at all. My favorite way to do it is under the bottom of a jar. So far it is the most efficient method I have found for crushing toasted nuts. Kids can also use a rolling pin.

Greens

2          lbs assorted greens (kale, chard, collards, mustard,
spinach, etc.), well washed and dried

2          medium onions or 2 washed leeks sliced

6          cloves garlic, minced

1           inch ginger, peeled and minced

         tbsp olive oil

2          tbsp toasted sesame oil

2          cups sliced or crushed almonds, toasted

Miso Dressing

1/3       cup rice vinegar

2          tbsp honey or maple syrup

         tbsp stone ground mustard

½        cup miso paste

2          tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/3       cup olive oil

         tsp tamari

Heat oils in saucepan, add onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add garlic and ginger. Add the greens handful by handful, stirring constantly. Sauté until all the greens are added and have wilted into a bright green—about 2 minutes. Remove immediately from heat and place in a large bowl. Allow the mixture to cool and add the toasted almonds. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients, then toss with vegetable mixture. Serves 8 to 10.

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Avatar About Jenny Breen

Jenny Breen is a passionate advocate for eating and cooking sustainable, seasonal whole foods. She has been cooking and baking professionally in the Twin Cities for over 20 years. She is co-owner of Good Life Catering, a sustainable whole foods catering company, and is a Public Health nutrition educator. She teaches a sustainable foods cooking class at the University of Minnesota, works on food and nutrition policies for Bloomington public health, and works with Minneapolis and Richfield public schools to improve their scratch cooking skills and offerings. She published her first cookbook, Cooking Up the Good Life, in 2011 with the University of Minnesota Press.

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