I had bought a mandoline made in France and was dying to use it; after all, the French invented this thing, right? So I dutifully watched the CD that came with it, (twice), showing the beautiful Vosges region where the mandoline-makers were located; then I tried using it and was having a hard time. Finally, after six months of that mandoline collecting dust in the cupboard, I asked my daughter, the mechanical one in the family, to spare five minutes and work it for me.
Beautiful, even, extra-thin slices of beets.
Topped with creamy homemade labneh, and a pesto whipped up with the beet greens and some walnuts (plus garlic and olive oil).
Do you own a cooking gadget that you are afraid to use (like I was)?
- 3 Large beets with greens attached
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1 cup of homemade labneh or make it, click here for the recipe
- 8 cloves of garlic (3 for the labneh and 5 for the pesto)
- 3/4 cup of walnuts
- 1 cup of beet greens
- a handful of basil leaves (optional)
- 6 to 8 slices of crusty bread
- Cut off the beet greens and wash thoroughly. Place the beets on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes or until tender. Cut off the stalks from the beet greens and reserve to use for a salad or soup. Mash the garlic with a teaspoon of salt in a mortar till pasty and mix half of a teaspoon with the labneh. Taste and add more if desired. Reserve the rest for the beet greens pesto.
- Boil a quart of water in a pot and drop the beet greens for about 2 seconds until limp. Drain them and squeeze them to release as much water as possible. Place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the walnuts, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste and a handful of basil if desired. Process until the mixture is pasty, taste and adjust seasoning.
- When the beets are cooked, cool them a bit, peel them and slice them thinly. Place the toasts in the oven and grill till light brown and toasted. Place a few slices of beets on the toast, a couple of generous tablespoons of labneh and a drizzle of beet pesto. Serve with additional walnuts if desired.
NOTE: This would be delicious with a homemade goat cheese; clickherefor the recipe.
The beet green pesto tastes peppery; adding a few leaves of basil makes it taste more subdued.