the Pinkening

I love this time of year when everything goes red pink magenta. It means spring is almost here!

My favorite food in that color category is, of course, beets. While working in a French style bistro in Seattle’s Capitol Hill in the nineties, we made a lovely pasta tossed with goat cheese, roasted beets and fresh sweet basil. It was a glorious mis en scene when it first appeared at the table, all the disperate pieces glistening like jewels. When it got stirred together, it became an hilarious bubblegum pink… which you either loved, or hated. I’m still on the love side, and this is my riff on the stuff. It’s super for mixing into cooked grains, spreading on your sandwiches and eating up with a spoon.

Little Big Bites: beet Purée with Gorgonzola and Basil. #chefshop #frenchbistro

A photo posted by Lesa Sullivan-Abajian (@lesacooks) on


Beet Puree with Basil and Gorgonzola

  • 3 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 can canellini beans, drained
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • chiffonade basil (finely cut into ribbons)
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola
  • toast, crostini, pita, etc.

Wrap beets in foil and place in a heatproof baking dish, half filled with water. at 425 F, roast the beets until soft, about 45 minutes. You may need to add more water as it roasts. When they are cool, peel and chop them roughly. Add them to a food processor with all ingredients up to the salt and puree until very smooth. Add oil and puree again. Taste and adjust for salt. Serve on toast with a sprinkling of gorgonzola and chiffonade of basil. Makes about 3 cups.

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