Saturday, January 29, 2011

Asian Beet Relish

This is my vegan version of a recipe out of my favorite noodle book. It's all Asian inspired, Asian-styled, and I have yet to make a recipe out of it that came out bunk. I happen to love beets - the flavor and the color is really excellent during the grey winter months - but there aren't a ton of beet recipes out there. This one is super easy and quick - once you've cooked the beets, that is.

Asian Beet Relish (w Noodles)

Pre-cooking: don’t forget you have to give these beets lots of time to cook. There are various ways to do it, but I’m onboard with the method in the book: pre-heat the oven to 300 and trim greens if there are any. Place beets on a baking sheet or a sturdy piece of tinfoil or a piece of tinfoil on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1-2 hrs for small beets and 3+ hrs for larger beets. Beware: it’s not unlikely you’ll need the upper amount of time – or longer. You can check the beets by poking with a fork – if the tines slide in easily, then the beets are done. You can let them cool completely or run them under cold water. Either way, the skins should peel off easily. I cut off the tops and bottoms, and peel the skin off in strips from top to bottom with the edge of a pairing knife.

1 lb. beets, cooked and skinned

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 tsp ginger, grated or finely chopped

2-6 chilies, finely chopped

½ c parsley, chopped

3 tsp white wine vinegar or Japanese brown rice vinegar

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp brown sugar

2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

2-3 tbsp Bragg's or soy sauce

serves a

bout 4

one: chop beets and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl - preferably glass or metal. Something that won't stain the way your fingers stain.

two: mix nutritional yeast and Bragg’s to make a thin paste. Add all of the remaining ingredie

nts – including your paste – to the bowl and combine.

three: taste for spice and salt. Add more chilies or Bragg’s if low in these, add more parsley if high. Of

course, it’s easier to add more salt and spice than to subtract it, so start on the conservative side and work up.

four: top noodles with beet relish or ‘dip’ your noodles in the relish as you eat.

My favorite are the thick Japanese udan noodles, but feel free to try another variety. This relish would aslo be great with chicken or pork, and could easily be added to other dishes to pick them up – or as a side to cut through heavier entrees.

The recipe originally calls for anchovies (4-6 oz). I’ve tried it this way, but I just don’t like anchovies. I mean really. Anchovies? So I’ve sub-ed in the nutritional yeast and Bragg’s. If you’re not vegan and you’re opposed to veganizing, feel free to chop up some anchovies and take it back to its roots. I salute you.

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