Monday, June 23, 2008

Burst of color and seasonal flavor: beet bruschetta

A completely lovely friend went to Israel to visit her family recently and came back with an Israeli cookbook for me. She selected the most perfect cookbook – it is beautifully laid out on large, glossy paper, the photography is colorful and gorgeous, and it is very modern and young. It is full of stories and history related to food. Israeli food is a cuisine I am largely unfamiliar with: this book is the perfect seduction into Israeli cooking.

Having coincidentally picked up both beets and pomegranate seeds at the market, I was intrigued to find the perfect use for my acquisitions: a beetroot and pomegranate salad. Strange coincidence to spot a recipe that makes use of both, no?

I have had bruschetta on the brain recently and decided to morph the salad into a bruschetta topping, and of course, make my own little adjustments, namely swapping out the cilantro and replacing it with chopped Italian flat leaf parsley and chives, and adding some crumbled ricotta salata to the top. Perfection. I love the contrast of the dark, dense beets with the translucent seeds, and the green of the herbs adds wonderful color and freshness.

Beet and pomegranate seed bruschetta (heavily adapted from Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad from The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey)

3-4 medium beetroots, stem ends trimmed to ~1 inch length, washed lightly
2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 dried chili peppers, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ - ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
¼ cup delicate olive oil
Crumbled ricotta salata to top
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh baguette, sliced diagonally into ~1/2 inch rounds

Sprinkle beets with olive oil, wrap individually in aluminum foil packets, and roast in a 375ยบ degree oven for ~45 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Peel and chop into small dice.

Mix with pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, peppers, sea salt and pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Spoon mixture onto bread rounds. Sprinkle with parsley and ricotta salata. Serve immediately.


Y said...

The colours on the bruschetta are breathtaking. And I love that picture of the different beetroots. Sounds like a fantastic recipe - nice flavours and lots of texture.

Anonymous said...

i love all the color in this!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! The cook book looks incredible, I am going to add it to my Amazon wish list so I'll remember to pick it up one of these days. Beautiful photos, really.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful bruschetta! The colours are fabulous and so are those beets. I have just added the book to my amazon wishlist!

Anonymous said...

My kind of food - sounds and looks wonderful. Great photos as usual.

Simones Kitchen said...

Great! I just printed the recipe and will definitely try it out soon. Will let you know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

Your photos made me want to try beets - and that's saying something!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just came upon your blog via a photo of yours on Flickr - just gorgeous! My boyfriend is the cook in the family so I will have to get him to make this bruschetta - looks yummy!
I am especially impressed with your photography - how often do you find someone who is a good cook AND a great photographer?! Did you take classes or are you just a natural? What type of camera and lighting do you use? Keep up the great work!

KayKat said...

Brilliant! Beets rock! And you rock for giving us this awesome recipe :)

Pea and Pear said...

Yum! Those bruschetta look so delicious!! I am a bit of a beetroot fanatic and I will definately be giving this one a whirl :)

Helene said...

Love the whole color spectrum, wonderful! And wonderful recipe of course!

Anonymous said...

beautiful pics. it looks like it tastes lovely too!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos, and congratulations on your win. I remember the image and thought is was wonderful when your first posted it. I am a beet fan, so this recipe looks great.

Anonymous said...

The best photographs of beets I have seen. Period.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Beautiful colors. Your photography is simply stunning.

Anonymous said...

Just getting into beets, had a lovely beet and feta salad in the UK not long ago. May be a convert. Lovely images.

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