beet hummus with veggies and pita chips.

Beet Hummus?! Sign me up!

Beet Hummus
adapted from Simply Recipes 

1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets, tops removed and scrubbed clean 
2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
Juice and zest of one orange
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Wrap beets together in foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about one hour or until soft when pierced with a fork. Allow to sit until cool enough to handle, then slide off beet skins. Place beets and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an immersion blender (or place ingredients in bowl of the food processor) puree all ingredients together. Add additional seasoning to taste. Serve with an assortment of vegetables and pita chips. 



Garlic Potato Rounds with Pesto and Shaved Avocado

Reprinted from my new favorite food blog Minimally Invasive, wonderful photography, scrumptious recipes, an all-around stellar blog.

You can easily adapt any of the elements in this appetizer to suit what you have on hand. No potatoes? Try thick-sliced eggplant. Radish-greens aren’t your thing? Any kind of pesto will do, and now that I think about it, I need to try one with sun-dried tomato. If you’re not into asparagus (or just don’t like taking the time to shave it), maybe throw it on the grill instead, then cut it into manageable segments.

4 medium yukon gold potatoes
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced

Wash potatoes thoroughly, then cut into 1/2″ rounds. Parboil in lots of salted water just until they begin to soften. While potatoes are cooking, spread olive oil on a large, rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly with minced garlic. When potatoes are ready, drain and immediately place on tray, turning to coat. Let them sit for at least 1/2 hour to soak up all of the garlicky goodness, then fire up the grill. (You can also toss them with spice blends if you like, but I wanted to keep things basic.) Cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until the potatoes have nice grill marks on them and are cooked through. Liberal sampling is encouraged at this stage.

1 bunch radish greens, thoroughly washed and dried
1 clove garlic (or more, if you really like the stuff), chopped
Parmesan cheese (as much as you like)
A handful of nuts (Pistachio, almond, pine nuts all work well here. Pecans are good, but you really have to love them.)
olive oil
salt to taste

Throw the first four ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well-chopped. While processor is going, add olive oil in thin stream until it’s the consistency you like. (I tend to make a thick version that I can thin out later.) Add salt to taste.

1/2 bunch thick asparagus spears, washed and dried
oil (olive oil or even flavored oils are fine)
lemon juice
salt & pepper

Grasp the thick, woody end of the asparagus and run a vegetable peeler down the length of the spear to make ribbons. Toss together with remaining ingredients to taste, keeping the dressing light so it isn’t a mess to eat.

Spread a little pesto on each potato round and top with a few asparagus ribbons. Devour.