savory oats, hemp with garlic roasted beets

savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table

In a couple of weeks, I will be visiting Los Angeles to attend the IACP conference. It's my first time in LA and it's also my first time attending the awards, it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to meeting and making new friends! If you have any suggestions on what I should eat or where I should go, please drop a little line below to let me know, I'd love to check out some of your recommendations on this trip. 

I love oats as much as my mother hates it. Several years ago she had an accident and had to stay for more than a week in the hospital and she said all they fed her was oatmeal. She avoids it like the plague ever since. Me on the other hand, I can never have enough oatmeal or oats. Judging by the fact that I eat oatmeal about five times a week. It's usually a staple at breakfast but there are times when I'll use it as a rice substitute. Don't get me wrong, the textures are different, one more sticky than the other but it's still delicious in savory form. Whether you wash the oats in cold running water or if you fry them before you boil, they will still be clumpy and sticky. At least that's been my experience but that unmistakable chewy texture of steel cut oats makes it a winner.  

I used Bob's Red Mill's steel cut oats and hemp seed hearts I find steel cut oats to be a closer substitute for rice when it comes to using it in savory dishes as a grain, it's just like a wheatberry but less chubby and more soft yet it has that beautiful chewy nature. Hemp heart seeds on the other hand taste like little flakes. When it sticks to those roasted beets as soon as they come out of the oven, that texture... it reminds me of Indian sesame candy, chikki but without all that sugar.

savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when making this dish,

  • The best way to tell whether the beets are roasted and cooked is to look at the baking pan. If you notice water from the beets in the pan, then continue to roast them until only the olive oil is present. 
  • You can adjust the consistency of the oats by adding a little water once they're cooked. 
  • Hemp hearts do not need any cooking, just fold them into the beets and that's it. 
  • You can sub the beets out with carrots if you're not fond of beets. Adjust the roasting time accordingly. 
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets | A Brown Table

savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

3 cups diced beets cut into 0.5" cubes, peeled

1 tablespoon garlic minced

3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup hemp seed hearts

1 cup steel cut oats

3 cups water

1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground

1 cup diced red onion

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 cup raw peanuts

1/4 cup grated goat cheddar

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

1 large lemon

1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Place the beets, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking pan and mix to coat evenly. Roast the beets in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are tender and a knife can pass through the beets easily. Remove from oven, mix in the hemp seed hearts and keep warm until ready to use. 

2. While the beets are roasting, prepare the oats. In a medium-sized stockpot, bring the water to boil on medium-high and then add the oats along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook until the oats are tender, this should take about 10 to 12 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from stove and keep aside

3. In a medium-size skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and chili powder, sauté until light pink and almost translucent, this should take about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the stove and stir into the oats. 

4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add the peanuts along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Toss to coat and fry the peanuts until cooked, this should take about 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Add the cooked peanuts to the oats. 

5. Fold the roasted beets with the hemp seed hearts into the oats. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of grated cheddar, mint leaves and a little lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream

red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Table

For someone that professes to love ice cream that much, I almost shuddered when I realized I haven't made a batch in a long, long, long time. Like any devoted home ice cream maker enthusiast, I always keep the canister frozen and at one point, even pondered at getting a second one as a "backup", so I know my love is pure. It was time to rectify this immediately! So to break this cycle, I'm sharing this sweet floral accented pink hued ice cream and even if you have second thoughts about beets in a dessert, I urge you to keep an open mind, this one might just surprise you (in a pleasant way hopefully)!

This was a hard one to name, too many ingredients that stood out and deserved a mention, so I apologize in advance if it sounds way too long. I started off by oven roasting my red beets before I puréed and stirred them into goat milk. The roasting helps to enhance the natural sweetness of the beets by cooking the sugars inside and give them a light caramel flavor. The ice cream base is sweetened with a little honey and brown sugar and then flavored with a light dash of rose water. The natural tanginess of the goat cheese helps to balance the flavors.  

I did notice one really interesting feature about the red pigment known as Betalain in the beets, it started off as pink but turned red after the ice cream base was removed from the hot stove and then went back to pink as it cooled down. I know the pigment color is pH sensitive (acidic/alkaline environments) but this temperature effect was new to me. 

red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Table
red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Tablered beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Table
red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Tablered beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this ice cream,

  • Roast your red beets by wrapping them in aluminum foil and placing them for about 45-60 minutes in an oven at 400F. The beets will cook in their own steam and should be very soft when done. Peel and purée the beets using a food processor. 
  • Some people may find rose water to be a little intense in flavor, so I recommend adding the smaller amount listed below. If you like it by all means bump it up but not too much or it will mask the taste of the beets. 

My ice cream base recipe is loosely based on the basic technique used in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream| A Brown Table

red beet, rose water, honey, goat cheese and goat milk ice cream

yields: approximately 1 generous quart 

ingredients 

1 1/2 cups red beets, roasted, peeled and pureed

2 cups goat milk, full fat

1 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons honey (I used the clover variety)

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) brown sugar

1  1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

4 tablespoons goat cheese, softened to room temperature

1-2 tablespoons rose water (use 1 tablespoon for a milder flavor and 2 for a stronger one)

1. In a large bowl, add and whisk together the puréed red bets, goat milk and heavy cream. Stir in the honey and brown sugar. Transfer the contents to a medium thick bottomed saucepan and heat on medium-high flame with occasional stirring. Bring the contents of the pan to a rolling boil for one minute. 

2. While the the saucepan is heating, quickly mix the cornstarch and the water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Pour the slurry into the boiling contents of the saucepan and whisk vigorously to combine. Boil the contents of the pan for 2 additional minutes until the entire ice cream base acquires a thick custard like consistency. Remove from stove and stir about half cup of the hot ice cream base into a large bowl containing the goat cheese, whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the ice cream base and whisk to combine evenly.

3. Pass the liquid through a sieve to filter out any beet flesh particles. Collect the ice cream base in a container, cover the surface of the liquid with cling film and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Once the ice cream mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the rose water. Transfer the contents into a 1 gallon ziplock bag and seal airtight. Place the bag in  an ice cold water bath and cool to around 40F or until ice cold.

5. Once the ice cream base has cooled, pour it into the prefrozen canister of your ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturer's instructions. (I normally churn for 30 minutes until the ice cream resembles a soft-serve consistency). Transfer the ice cream base into a freezer-safe container and layer the surface with parchment paper. Press gently to remove any air bubbles and seal the container with the lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours until the ice cream is firm before serving. 

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

Though fall is only a month way, I can already see subtle signs here. The leaves haven't changed as they would on the East Coast but the produce at the farmer's markets have started to change. This weekend, there were a lot more beets than usual along with a few pumpkins. Not a lot but it was still enough to remind me that summer will be over soon.

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan
oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

Colors always attract my attention, especially when they are all sorts of vibrant gifted. Both summer and fall are also full of various wonderful colors, so this combination of deep pinks with bright orange reminds me of this transitory period. This is one of those side dishes that you can prepare with ease and eat alongside any meal. I'm always fascinated by how different ingredients respond to the same cooking conditions in different ways. Beets and carrots are naturally sweet and when roasted oven their sugars will caramelize to give a delicious touch of complexity. Garlic on the other hand, when roasted becomes sweet and less harsh in flavor. 

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

Be generous with the coriander when you season, a little extra doesn't hurt and you will love the aromatic fragrance that it brings to this dish. I love to eat this dish with a side of rice or a flat bread such as roti and a side of plain unsweetened yogurt. It's the perfect ode to the weather change and for things to come.

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

oven roasted beets and carrots with coriander

yields: 2-4 servings

ingredients

6 medium sized beets 

3 large carrots

1 garlic bulb

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt 

1 tablespoon olive oil

a few sprigs of thyme (I used lemon thyme to garnish)

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. 

2.  Leave about an inch of the stems on the beets. Wash and wipe the beets dry. Peel the outer skin and discard. Cut the beets across the length into 8 sections. Place the beets in a large mixing bowl.

3. Peel the carrots, cut them in half and then slice them into 1/2 inch thick strips. Add the carrots to the beets in the bowl. Slice the garlic bulb in half and add both halves to the bowl. Add the coriander, black pepper, sea salt and olive oil. Toss gently to coat the vegetables evenly. Spread the mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but the edges slightly crispy. The beets and carrots will get slightly blistered and the stems of the beets will be browned and crispy. 

4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve immediately. 

Note: On sitting the vegetables can get slightly soft, I prefer to serve them fresh out of the oven because they have a wonderful combination of crispiness mixed in with the soft tender flesh. However, you can reheat these in the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 350F if they get a little soft.