Friday, September 21, 2007

Dinner: Do you like BEETS?

I absolutely LOVE beets. Maybe it's because I grew up in Russia and beets were a staple in my parents' cooking. Who hasn't heard of borsht? I am also a fan of several Russian beet salads (one is just cooked and then grated beets mixed with mayonnaise, garlic and toasted walnuts; the other is a combination of boiled and cubed beets, potatoes, carrots, eggs, and pickles mixed with mayonnaise).

Last week I was reading Washington Post Express and found a recipe for pasta with beets and goat cheese. I decided to make it, but found the recipe a bit flowed (some of the directional steps were missing). Below is my own version based on the original recipe.

1 box of Penne pasta
1 can of beets drained and cut into strips OR you can use 2 cups of roasted and cubed beets (depending on your time constraints)
2 cups of kale cut in ribbons
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
2 tsp oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

*Cook pasta according to directions on the box
*Heat oil in a large pan, add garlic, red pepper flakes, tarragon and kale and cook for a few minutes (make sure not to burn garlic because you would have to start over)
*Add drained pasta, beets, crumbled goat cheese and heavy cream. Mix until pasta is well coated with cream and goat cheese and cook for another 5 minutes until all ingredients are heated through.
*Serve with chopped toasted walnuts. ENJOY!

*This dish was excellent as leftovers! Just make sure to keep nuts separate when reheating.
*Variations: it be great with chicken or thinly sliced beef.
*Variations: you can make a cold version of this recipe by cooling the pasta and eliminating the cream. Just combine cooled pasta with beets, goat cheese, and cooked garlic/kale/tarragon mixture.

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