Red Beet Mojito
Makes 1 drink
Chef Katsuya Fukushima of Cafe Atlantico and Minibar in downtown Washington says it made sense to use beets as a sweetening agent in this drink recipe, since some sugar is processed from beets. The recipe is adapted from the restaurant.
5 lime wedges
15 small mint leaves
1 to 11/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup white rum
1 to 11/2 tablespoons beet puree*
1 or 2 splashes of lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
Sugar cane stick*, for garnish (optional)
In a highball glass or tall tumbler, mix the limes, mint and sugar until the ingredients are well crushed and combined. Fill the glass with ice and add the rum and red beet puree. Cover and shake well, or stir vigorously. Fill the rest of the glass with the lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a fresh sugar cane stick, if desired, and serve immediately.
*NOTES: To make beet puree, place two large unpeeled beets in a pot with just enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until they are easily pierced with a fork. Discard the cooking liquid and allow the beets to cool before peeling, then chop beets coarsely and place in a blender to puree with just enough water to facilitate the process. Blend until smooth. Place in a squeeze bottle or plastic container and refrigerate until ready to use. This will make about 1 cup puree, the remainder of which may be stored in the freezer.
Sticks of sugar cane are available at Asian and some Latino specialty markets.
Per serving: 200 calories, 1 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 57 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber
Recipe tested by Anne McDonough; e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Makes 31/2 cups
At Komi on 17th Street NW near Dupont Circle, chef-owner Johnny Monis serves this refreshingly different condiment with a bacon-wrapped tuna. Adapted from the restaurant.
3 bunches mixed baby beets* trimmed, about 2 pounds total, weight includes greens not used in this recipe (may substitute with golden beets)
4 cups kosher salt
11/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage*
1/2 teaspoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped or snipped chives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the beets in a roasting pan that's just large enough to hold them. Pour the kosher salt over so that it covers the beets. Bake for about 35 minutes, or just until the beets are tender.
Remove the beets from the salt to cool slightly and discard the salt. Peel the beets while they are still warm and cut into chunks or dice. Cover and refrigerate until they are completely cooled, about 2 hours.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, dill, parsley, chives and olive oil. Add the beets, and season with salt and pepper to taste, then the truffle oil, if using. Serve chilled.
*NOTES: The chef warns against using red beets here, which will color the other beets and turn the tzatziki a purplish-red.
Greek-style yogurt is thicker and richer than regular plain yogurt. It's available at Whole Foods Markets and at some specialty food stores.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 171 calories, 6 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 232 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber
Recipe tested by Jane Touzalin; e-mail questions to email@example.com
Caramelized Scallops With Red Beet and Caper Beurre Meuniere
The beets imbue the rich sauce with flecks of color. Adapted from Jonathan Krinn, chef and owner of 2941 restaurant in Falls Church.
For the scallops:
16 sea scallops, about 2 pounds total, preferably dry-packed*
Freshly ground white pepper
8 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, or as much as needed
1/3 cup white wine
For the beet and caper beurre meuniere:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup roasted red beets*, diced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
11/2 teaspoons minced capers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Freshly ground white pepper
For the scallops: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Put a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the warm oven.
Pat dry the scallops and season both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium pan over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil. Carefully place 6 of the scallops so that they do not touch one another and are evenly spaced apart. Cook without turning them or moving the pan for about 2 minutes until they have browned, then turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes. Transfer the scallops from the pan to the wire rack in the oven.
Deglaze the pan used to cook the first batch of scallops with 3 tablespoons of the white wine, and, using a small bowl, reserve all the cooking juices for the final beurre meuniere sauce.
Clean the pan and return to medium heat. For the next batch of 6 scallops, repeat the process of cooking them, reserving the juices and warming the scallops in the oven.
Cook the last 4 scallops in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil. After the last batch, the cooking juices can remain in the pan.
For the beet and caper beurre meuniere: In the same pan on medium heat, add the butter to the cooking juices from the last batch of scallops and cook until the butter turns light brown, about 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the reserved cooking juices as well as any drippings from the pan under the wire rack, about 1/4 cup. Add the roasted beets, shallot, capers and garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt and white pepper to taste.
To serve, transfer 4 scallops each to individual plates and spoon the beet caper beurre meuniere on top. Serve immediately.
*NOTES: Dry-packed scallops are not packed in a solution, and are thought to be more flavorful than scallops packed in water. Ask your seafood merchant how the scallops were shipped.
To roast a beet: Lightly coat 1 red beet in olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, wrap it in aluminum foil and roast in a 400-degree oven until it is soft, about 40 minutes. Peel the beet and dice.
Per serving: 427 calories, 9 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 41 g fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 10 g saturated fat, 413 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber
Recipe tested by Marcia Kramer; e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org