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A Vibrant Beet Caviar

If you have bourbon or vodka on hand, you can use one of those in place of the cognac.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium beets, washed and trimmed
  • 5 plump dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cognac (bourbon, or vodka)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, plain yogurt, or sour cream
  • lots of freshly chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the center. Puncture the beets with a fork a few times, and roast for an hour, or until the beets are completely tender when you test by cutting into the center with a knife.
  2. In the meantime, gently heat the cognac in a small saucepan. Place the dates in a glass bowl, and, when just hot, pour the alcohol over the dates. Jostle around a bit, and soak for at least 10 minutes.
  3. When the beets are cooked and cool enough to peel, remove the skins and chop into cubes. Place in a food processor with the dates, cognac, and garlic. Puree until the texture is to your liking - I left a bit of texture here, but you can go smoother if you prefer.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl before adding the lemon juice, walnuts, and salt. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve swirled with the creme fraiche, and finished with chives.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 6

Notes

Serves 6.

Adapted from The Eastern and Central European Kitchen: Contemporary and Classic recipes by Silvena Rowe (2007).