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.

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

Update: Our supper club was a blast! Watching and gauging people's responses as they sampled and ate our food was mixed with feelings of nervousness and excitement. For me this was a fun experience, one very different from this blog but both being equally rewarding in different ways. And, we've already begun the planning of our second supper club, which will probably be held sometime next month. Fingers crossed!

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney |A Brown Table

I grew up with a tamarind tree across the street, the tree was enormous and every fruit season, it survived the onslaught of the owner's kids who would try to steal the fruit by tossing stones of sticks into its branches. The kids would collect the fallen fruit, crack the light brown shell open and season the pulp with grains of salt and eat them directly. I've tried eating raw tamarind in this manner, it's not one of my favorite ways but I love, love, love using it in chutneys and sauces. Goan recipes also use tamarind pretty lavishly to flavor and acidify and it adds a mild hint of sweetness to the dish. 

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

I've been wanting to make a breakfast/lunch/dinner appropriate meal. Mostly savory with a little hint of sweetness and a little bit of heat. These savory buckwheat pancakes topped off with a huge helping of acorn squash salsa and this date and tamarind chutney does just that!

This recipe has three components to it;

  • a simple buckwheat pancake batter that is more savory than sweet and I've infused it with a little tamarind pulp.
  • a tamarind and date chutney that needs no sugar and uses the natural sweetness of the date. Be generous with this chutney!
  • an acorn squash salsa. I roasted the squash in the oven and then used ingredients that I normally use to make salsa at home. 
tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney | A Brown Table

Weekend Links

I'd eat everyone of these mini pumpkin loaf cakes.

Learn how to make homemade pumpkin cheesecake chips

Apparently, it was National Cinnamon Roll last week, these Finnish cinnamon rolls are on my to do list being it cinnamon roll week or not! 

Let's add these triple cinnamon pecan sticky buns to that list too.

This colorful Kabocha squash soup and this vegan butternut queso!!!

tamarind buckwheat pancakes with acorn squash salsa and date and tamarind chutney |A Brown Table

acorn squash salsa

yields: 4 - 6 servings

ingredients

1 lb acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup red onion, chopped

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped 

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground 

2 thai chili peppers or 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

1. Cut the squash in half and remove and discard the seeds and strings. Place the squash in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a large knife, trim the outer skin off (it should come off easily now). Dice the squash into half inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash and mix to coat evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for about 20-25 minutes until the cubes are tender and cooked. Allow the squash to cool to room temperature before preparing the salsa.

2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl along with the squash, toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use (serve chilled).

date and tamarind chutney

yields: about 3 1/2 -4 generous cups

ingredients

1 cup tamarind fruit, outer shell and seeds removed * 

2 cups packed medjool dates, pits removed

4 cups boiling water

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

1.  Place the tamarind fruit in a medium bowl and pour 1 cup of the boiling water over it. Allow to sit for about 1-2 hours until the pulp becomes soft and mushy. Strain the pulp through a sieve and keep aside. (Reserve 1 tablespoon of the pulp aside for the pancakes)

2. Pour the rest of the water over the dates and leave aside for about 1-2 hours until soft.

3. Add the rest of the tamarind pulp (except the 1 tablespoon for the pancakes from earlier). Using an immersion blender or blender, puree until smooth. (you might need to pass it through a strainer to get rid of any bits that might not have blended).

4. In a small skillet, heat the cumin and coriander seeds on medium high flame, cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds being to slightly brown and you can smell the fragrance of the spices. Remove and grind this to a fine powder. Add this powder along with the salt and sriracha (optional) to the pureed date and tamarind. Pour this sauce into a medium sized saucepan and cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary. Store chilled in an airtight container. You can also adjust the consistency of the sauce with more water. 

tamarind buckwheat pancakes 

yields: 4 - 6 servings (depends on how big you make them)

ingredients

2 cups buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, reserved from earlier *, **

1 large egg

2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature (buttermilk can also be used)

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

unsalted butter or vegetable oil for frying the pancakes

1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the butter/oil). Whisk until smooth and combined. Keep aside for 2 minutes.

2. Heat a greased cast iron or nonstick skillet on medium-high and pour about 1/4 cup of batter. Allow to cook on each side for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes before flipping the pancakes. Prepare the rest of the pancakes similarly and serve warm.

Assembly:

1. Stack as many pancakes as your heart desires in a plate. Place a huge dollop of the acorn squash salsa and generously drizzle with the date and tamarind chutney. Serve and eat asap!

* If you can't find tamarind fruit or pre-made tamarind pulp, use the concentrate. You will need to adjust the amount of concentrate to be added, for the chutney, 1 - 1 /2 teaspoons should be enough (Use less and accordingly adjust  as per your taste). For the pancakes, I recommend using 1/4 teaspoon. 

** Since tamarind is highly acidic, it will react with the baking soda and powder in the pancake batter, so I recommend preparing all the pancakes within an hour or so. If left too long, the batter may end up too flat.