March 1, 2013
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I was talking to someone the other day about food blogs and building stories, and how many of our journeys, even if they take place all across the world, are strangely similar.
Same as you, I find familiar stories compelling and addictive – be it moving as a student to Paris, following your heart to Berlin, or trying to connect to your grandparents through their old recipe notes.
So many of my experiences of moving, living in different countries, growing up as a ‘third culture kid‘ shaped me and inspired my love of food.
But I think the major difference for me is that instead of cooking to recapture memories, I cooked to create new ones.
Still, there are times when I crave familiar flavors, and these beets are a modern take of something so very Russian that I grew up with – enjoy!
Tips: Use coarse sea salt if you can. If you like a smoky flavor, feel free to mix in some smoked salt as well, but keep it light.
Salt crusted beets
- 4 red beets, trimmed and scrubbed, but unpeeled
- 1 cup coarse sea salt (or 3/4 cup regular sea salt + 1/4 smoked applewood sea salt)
- zest of 1 meyer lemon
- 1/3 t smoked paprika flakes
- about 1/4 cup olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the salt mixture – it will serve as both a ‘rub’ and a casing for the beets.
On a foil-lined baking sheet, combine lemon zest, salt(s), and paprika flakes, and mix well with you hands to combine.
2. Place the beets on the baking sheet - right on the salt mixture – and drizzle with olive oil so they are glistening. Rub and pack salt mix around and on top of the beets.
3. Roast for about 2 hours until soft and tender. Break the salt casing, peel, and slice roughly.
Serve simply topped with good olive oil, a balsamic glaze, or a favorite yogurt dressing.