warm beet and orzo salad with some of my favorite accoutrements

beets are an underutilized ingredient, in my opinion. so here’s to beets and pairing them with something salty (feta), something creamy (orzo), something bitter (beet greens), and something crunchy (pine nuts).

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this recipe is adapted from food52.

makes 3 main dish servings, 6 side dish servings

  • 3 large beets with beet greens, cleaned and peeled and greens chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

boil water in a medium pot. once boiling, add beets. cook for about 15-20 minutes, until tender. meanwhile, cook orzo following instructions on packaging.

in a medium sized pan heat olive oil and roast pine nuts for about 5 minutes. transfer pine nuts to a bowl and add onions and garlic to pan. cook until they start to brown. add in beet greens and cover for about 5 minutes.

once beets are tender, remove from pot and chop into medium sized pieces. add to beet green mixture and toss around to coat. yes, everything will be very very red. salt and pepper the vegetables to taste.

transfer orzo and vegetable mixture to bowl with pine nuts. mix well. lastly, stir in feta. serve warm as a main dish or a side. or, eat as cold leftovers for lunch (that’s my plan for tomorrow).

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yogurt and sriracha marinated chicken & ginger kale gratin

we’ve had a bottle of sriracha in our fridge for probably two years. and we use it, relatively frequently. it’s just one of those ingredients that you never use up more than 2-3 tablespoons at a time, so it really does last forever.

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so, tonight i’ve put a couple of tablespoons to use in a yogurt and sriracha marinated chicken:

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adapted from all day i dream about food

makes 4 servings:

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts

in a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except chicken. then add chicken and mix so chicken is completely covered in marinade. cover with plastic wrap and let the chicken soak up all the delicious ingredients for at least two hours (i did eight, because i had some time). then bake at 375 for about 30-35 minutes. and eat!

and given that we have left over kale from the last week’s kale and white bean soup, i wanted to use it up. this is a ginger kale gratin:

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adapted from food52.
makes 3-4 side dish servings:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces feta
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

remove stems from kale. add a little water to a large pot and steam the kale for 5-7 minutes. it’ll turn a bright green when it’s right. after kale cools, chop up into medium sized pieces.

in a small pan, melt butter. add garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic starts to brown. when it smells delicious, it should be done. put kale into a baking dish and scatter ginger mixture on top. in another bowl, mix together feta, heavy cream, and egg. pour on top of the kale mixture. give it a good mix. top with almonds. bake at 375 for 20 minutes.