Today is one of those days where I just felt like staying home. The weather is windy and cool, unlike what we would expect for a spring day in Phoenix. I woke up late and spent the first part of my morning making my favorite breakfast while I waited on another flourless chocolate cake in the oven.
The kitchen smelled so heavenly, I was enjoying catching up on a few months of cooking magazines, and I nearly forgot to go to the farmer’s market! Just a half an hour before it ended, I sped my way over to the park and picked up a bundle of golden beets, a bundle of candy-cane beets, and a bundle of dandelion greens.
Sometimes when I come home from the farmer’s market, I plop my finds on the counter and fail to clean them for a good day. Today was not that kind of day. I carefully separated the candy-cane beets and chopped the greens off of the top. Then I cut the stems off of the beets, and right before I tossed them in the trash I took a look at them- they were beautiful, crisp, and fresh.
The first thing that popped into my mind was pickles! So, I carefully trimmed all of the stems, researched pickle recipes, and put together my first batch ever of pickled beets and stems. I am so proud! If you know anything about me, you know that I am a pickle fanatic. I feel like this opened a whole new world for me- I seriously am about to pickle everything in my house (too bad I’m out of jars!).
This week has been a difficult week for my family. After a stressful week of testing and surgery, we found out that our dog, Baci (her name is Italian for “kiss”) has a very aggressive form of melanoma, which grows quickly and can become painful. So, here are some recipes for your enjoyment, and some pictures of our pup. Send her some prayers & love, and go make some pickles!
Favorite Breakfast: Asparagus & Parmesan Omelet with Cherry Tomatoes
~12 Asparagus stems
1 garlic clove, sliced
5 Cherry Tomatoes
In a skillet, heat olive oil. Chop asparagus into small pieces, add to hot oil and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook just to soften. Meanwhile, scramble your egg in a bowl or mug. When garlic is soft, evenly spread the vegetables around the pan and pour in the egg, tilting the pan to evenly disperse the egg. Cook until the exposed part of the egg sets, then flip and cook the opposite side. When the egg is completely cooked through, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fold in half.
Split each tomato in half and place, cut-side down, on the skillet.
Turn off your burner and allow the tomatoes to cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve omelet with tomatoes on top.
Enjoy! I served mine with a small side of gazpacho.
Golden Beet, Candy-Cane Beet & Beet Stem Pickles
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pickling spice
1/2 inch cracked cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 fresno chilis, sliced*
1 candy-cane beet (medium size)
2 golden beets (1.5″ in diameter)
stems of candy-cane and golden beets, to fill 2 jars
Place 4, 4-oz jars and lids (disassembled) in a large pot, cover with cool water. Bring to a boil to sterilize and then remove from heat and let cool.
In a small sauce pan, mix vinegar, sugar, salt, pickle spice, cinnamon, cloves, and chilis. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes, to make a syrup.
In a separate pot, place beets in water. Boil until they are almost done (a fork goes in but with pressure). Remove the beets and place in a bowl of cold water. Gently rub the skins off of the beets. Slice into your preferred shape/thickness- I sliced mine into ribbons.
Lay your sterilized jar on its side and stack in the beet pieces vertically. When full, ladle syrup in to fill the jar completely. Close with the lid tightly and refrigerate. Let sit a day or two before enjoying with salads, as a snack, or by themselves!
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*My chilis were not very spicy- for some reason our plant is going through a phase of not producing spicy chilis. Adjust this to your tast and the heat of your chilis.