Today is my first day of culinary school and before I got started I wanted to share on here a few of my hopes for the course. This roasted beet, walnut and honey dip provides the perfect example. If I could narrow it down to one goal or hope for this brief stint in culinary school it would be this – simplicity. My desire is to come finish this culinary school and then return to the kitchen cooking more simply not more complicated. Maybe you were thinking the opposite… that I would return to my regular lifestyle of blogging with super complex recipes that most home cooks wouldn’t dare to try. But no, I promise, though I hope to learn a lot of great techniques, I only hope that they will help me to cook better, more easily and more simply. Let me explain more..
I hope to enhance my care for quality, fresh ingredients by learning how to use them more simply, letting their true flavors shine instead of masking them. Like picking a perfectly ripe and in-season beet from the market, then taking it home to roast it perfectly and only add a few more ingredients to better enjoy its natural flavor like in this bright pink spread.
A few more of my hopes for this journey:
gain more confidence in baking bread
sharpen my skills in creating pastries (still rustic and homemade but well made)
learn better pairing of flavors and ingredients (going back to simple cooking, a few ingredients well paired is better than several that don’t coordinate with each other well)
get more confidence in my skill of basic techniques and knife skills (I’ve had more than a few scares with a sharp knife over the years)
gain more respect for ingredients, the life that they have and are passing along to those who enjoy them as food (this is something that I hope goes more from my head to my heart).
begin with openness to new ideas and information from the teachers and mentors of my course – I hope to get new perspective and knowledge from those who have the far more experience than I.
find a better understanding of ingredients so that I can write more fully and more concise about them.
know more of the whys behind techniques and recipes that maybe I already knew how to do.
These are more for me than anything but thanks for listening :). I hope to stay on track during these 8 weeks of learning and to remember the hopes I have for this time. If there’s anything that you’re partaking in, I recommend you also taking time to jot down your own hopes and desires for your tasks ahead. Take some time to get a clear mind before foraging ahead! And some good beet dip alongside a little journaling session couldn’t hurt!
An easy 3 ingredient dip or spread using bright pink roasted beets.
- 3 beets
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop off beet greens right at the stem and reserve for another recipe (try them chopped in a salad, sautéed with toasted nuts or with eggs). Wrap each beet in foil (keep skin on) and place then on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes dependent on their size. For the last 8-10 minutes of roasting add the walnuts to the baking sheet. Check the beets' doneness by sliding a knife into the beet. It should go through smoothly and easily. Let beets and walnuts cool.
- To get the skin off the beets, hold one of the beets in a paper towel and use the edges of the paper to rub the skin away. The skin should peel away easily; if it doesn't, the beets likely need to cook for a little longer. Peel the remaining beets.
- Place peeled beets and all of the other ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and process until smooth.
- Serve with bread and extra walnuts and honey.
- Use as a spread in a veggie sandwich, toss with pasta, mix with yogurt...