Saturday, March 12, 2011

roasted red and golden beets with hazelnuts

One often reads that roasting brings out the sweetness in beets. I don't get it. Beets are sweet, period.  Also, their flavour is very strong, which is why I find it hard to combine with other stuff. But I gave it another try. I don't discern a difference in taste between red and golden beets, but it's prettier if you mix the two.

Roast red beets and golden beets at 400 F until soft.
Roast hazelnuts and chop them roughly. (Well, no, I didn't chop them. More on that later.)
Make a vinaigrette with orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Combine everything.

Pretty good. But then I think anything with hazelnuts is pretty good.

For chopped hazelnuts, I used one of my favourite kitchen tools, the meat pounder.

I grew up watching our big burly neighbourhood butcher pound slices of beef or lamb, using one that's 2-3 times bigger than mine, raising his arm high and coming down with a loud slap. OK, I don't really remember whether he was big and burly. But my memory of it is a loud, violent gesture resulting in a beautifully shaped, delicate piece of meat. So when I saw this meat pounder for sale on an online Turkish groceries site, I grabbed it. I don't pound meat much, but when I do, I have a tool that's so much better than those small cube-shaped mallet-like things they sell here. And for crushing nuts, it's perfect.


  1. the meat pounder looks so fun! what does that say about me that i want to get one and just pound stuff?

  2. so cool! what a great memory!

  3. looks yummy!

  4. Where can I find one of those meat pounders if I can't get to the Mısır Çarşısı any time soon?