Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beets with Walnut-Garlic Sauce (Pkhali)

I always say New York City is one of the easiest places in the world to be vegan. But that's not to say that the rest of the world doesn't have its fair share of vegetarian or even vegan dishes, that require no modification whatsoever! This dish, traditional in the Balkans, Russia and Turkey, is great alone or spooned onto pita bread.

To speed up preparation, you can buy precooked beets (check your local grocery store's produce section). If you want to roast your own, trim the stems off the beets to one inch, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool, then trim off the stems and rub off the skins.

For the sauce: in a food processor, combine 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons walnuts (toast the walnuts first if you like; before chopping into smaller pieces, simply heat in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes), a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper, 1/4 tsp. coriander and one small peeled garlic clove. Puree until smooth.

Toss the walnut mixture with 2 cups of either precooked beets or your own roasted beets, finely chopped. Make this a couple hours ahead of time so the flavors can meld. You'll have 3 side servings of 2/3 cup and 100 calories.

walnuts $4.99
precooked beets $5.98

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance