We're switching things up with the spotlight this week, in order to feature one
of our favorite vegetables: beets! We stocked up on red and golden beets at
the Castro Farmers Market, destined for the Golden Beet and Savory
Sourdough, the Beet Green and Chive Cornbread, and a bright red batch of
Red Velvet Muffins. Order yours here.
While snapping some photos of the beets at Blue House Farm's stand, we met
a fellow beet enthusiast, Gregory, who was kind enough to share his mother's
recipe for Cold Beet Borscht. If you've never tried borscht, you're in for a tasty
surprise. Served cold in the summer, this soup is refreshing, light and absolutely
beautiful. Try it with plain yogurt or slices of avocado, garnish with dill, and eat
outside in the sun.
You'll be able to find Gregory's recipe in this cookbook, coming soon!
All family recipes are inexact and morph with the generations, so in
veganizing my Lithuanian mother’s cold borscht—transmitted to me on a note
card, perhaps the first time it had ever been written down—I am making it my
own before I hand it on to my descendants. It’s a pretty simple recipe that,
with its striking fuschia color and refreshing seasonal flavors, always gets
stunning results at a summer luncheon. It loses nothing in veganizing.
half an English cucumber
a clove of garlic
salt and pepper
Cook three or four beets in their jackets, cool them, peel them,
and grate them.
Trim and dice a bunch of radishes and half a peeled and seeded
English cucumber. Add these to the beets.
Thinly slice three or four scallions and add those too, along with a
small clove of crushed garlic.
Add a liter of unsweetened milk substitute (I prefer hemp milk, but
almond or soy works fine) and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Stir gently and add salt and pepper (and more vinegar) to taste.
Put the soup in the fridge for a few hours to ripen the flavor and color.
When it’s time to eat, stir the soup again and ladle it into bowls. Top
each bowl with warm boiled new potatoes and a generous sprinkling of
chopped fresh dill.
(And if you must, in the traditional recipe just substitute buttermilk for the liquid
and top with sliced boiled eggs along with the potatoes and dill.)