When son Avi and Shira returned from a trip to Israel, they brought me a gift of date syrup. I had never used it before, but knew that it was the original “honey” cited in the Bible. Very exotic, I thought, but I really had no clue what to do with it other than to drizzle it over toast.
However! My preparation for the Middle Eastern feast continues, and when I opened Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem cookbook yet again and found Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za’atar, my heart skipped a beat. The list of ingredients called for date syrup. Yes! Finally a chance to use this sticky sweet condiment. Along with garlic, red chile pepper, scallions, goat cheese, and chopped hazelnuts, this was going to be one heck of a dish.
The only problem is that Joel detests beets. There’s no way to hide the vibrant colored veggie in other ingredients, as Jessica Seinfeld does for children. But, if I could make them interesting, might he actually take a taste? He did indeed, and even pronounced it, “Not bad.”
I thought it was amazing (although I think I would find a better cheese). The deep purple-red puree swirled with the creamy, alabaster Greek yogurt was both beautiful and luxurious on the tongue and palate. The crunchy nuts and scallions made for a wonderful interplay of flavors and textures.
Then, from their perch in back of the counter, I heard the beet greens calling my name. Not wanting to waste this singular opportunity to have the root veggie in the house, I figured I should make use of the whole vegetable. So, I went back to the classic volume The Joy of Cooking and found the most delectable recipe, calling for onion, horseradish, and mustard. Instead of sour cream, I spooned a bit of Greek yogurt over the top.
It was over-the-top delicious. Of course, since I probably will not get Joel to eat beets ever again,
I will have to make the recipe with some other leafy green that doesn’t have a dark red globe on the end of it.
Rickie Leiter says
Your descriptions bring the reader into your kitchen and into your heart!
You are welcome into both, Rickie!
Lorrin Krouss says
You made my nouth water. Your descriptions are so real that I can almost hear your voice. You cook with so much love. I do need to revisit that ancient volume “Joy of Cooking”