Sunday, September 15, 2013

Snacking back to Vancouver

Where did the weekend go? In the summer when I'm off, all the days meld into each other. It's only when school starts up again that I really treasure the weekend. Chatty, giggly Friday night dinners, early Saturday morning market walks or lazy afternoon brunches, and quiet, studious Sunday coffees, because tomorrow, it's back to the grind. Does that sound like your weekend too?

If it does, why not take a little break from the Sunday night sensible dinners and snack on these incredibly addictive roasted beet fries. We had these from a take-out carton in Vancouver, sitting on a bench near the water and feeling like summer would never end. They're a specialty from one of our most exciting food finds in Vancouver -- a food truck called "Le Tigre."

I know you've probably had roasted beets before, but these are special. They're roasted skin on, and sprinkled with plum powder -- a salty, sweet, tangy powder that comes in colourful packets. You can get in the candy section of Asian supermarkets next to the dried plums. If that's too much of a stretch, I'd suggest a sprinkling of brown sugar and dried sumach, which is probably easier to find.

In Vancouver, these beet fries were served with a special seven-spiced mayo which was awesome. When we made these at home, we kept our mayo plain, but if you wanted to kick it up a notch, add some hot smoked paprika to your mayo, or maybe a squeeze of lemon and a good grinding of black pepper.

Go ahead and snack your Sunday night away and try to forget, even if it's just for an hour, that we have to go back to work tomorrow.

Roasted Beet Fries
inspired by Le Tigre

a quart of beets (about 5-6 medium sized ones)
a good glug of olive oil
a big sprinkling of salt
a big grinding of black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried plum powder

1. Trim and scrub your beets well. Cut them into wedges and blanch them in boiling water for about 5 minutes to start the cooking process. Drain and pat dry with a towel.

2. Put your beets in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and plum powder. Lay them on a roasting tray and roast (on broil) for about 15-20 minutes, tossing twice, or until the the beets are tender.

3. Serve with mayo.

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