Earlier this year we were in New York to launch Green Kitchen at Home (we’re also coming to Amsterdam in September – more info below). We had a blast doing a live cooking session at Food52, teaching a cooking class at Sur La Table and had a book signing in a tiny but packed little store in Greenwich Village. But what I really wanted to talk about today was our night off. When we tucked baby Noah (formerly known as Gabriel) to sleep in his stroller and headed to ABCV for dinner. Side note: You should know that for being a food writing couple, Luise and I very rarely go out and eat at proper restaurants. With kids, it’s just easier to do takeaway or pick places where it’s okay that they climb, run and crash. Also, fancy restaurants make me feel awkward. But we had an epic evening at ABCV. We tried the tasting menu of which I can’t even remember half of the dishes. But I know that there were simple crudités with lots of spreads, some kind of soft beet carpaccio/tartar with a little bit of sting to it, a whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric tahini dressing(!), avocado lettuce cups, roasted shiitake and a couple of desserts. And what made the evening even better was that Noah slept through almost the entire dinner (thank you jetlag!).
We have been talking about that beet carpaccio (and the cauliflower with tahini turmeric dressing) a few times since we got back. And when Luise recently spotted a recipe for roasted beets and sesame labneh in the latest issue of Jamie Magazine, we started talking about it again. Looking through our recipe archive, it is pretty obvious that we’ve got a love for beets. They are sweet and mildly earthy, have an awesome color, can grow in our harsh Swedish climate and are cheap! What’s not to love?
So a couple of days ago, we picked up a few bunches of beets, started cooking and here we are. With some kind of beetroot tartar, dollops of sesame labneh and a few suggestions on what can be used to scoop it into your mouth, apart from crackers. And as a last minute contribution, we are also offering a less fancy way of serving this, inside a rye waffle toast (yup, you might want to scroll down to it right away).
This recipe is great as a starter, at a buffet table or a party. It’s pretty and impressive and got plenty of flavor from fresh dill and mint and a little sting from horseradish. Since we love yogurt just as much as we love beetroots, we invited labneh (yogurt’s fancy cousin) to the party. We totally stole the idea to mix tahini into labneh from that Jamie Mag article. You should too.
You need at least two hours to let the yogurt drain into labneh cheese but I’m still going to claim that this is an easy recipe – only a few ingredients and apart from draining the yogurt, it’s all pretty quick. I imagine that a quick cheat version could be accomplished by simply using thick yogurt without draining it and buying pre-cooked beetroots. I can’t promise that it will be as good, but it’ll at least be quick and effortless.
Okay, I can hear Isac trying to teach baby Noah how to roar like a lion with the only result that little brother cries like a baby. So I better post this now before major chaos is breaking out. No proofreading needed because yolo. Enjoy the recipe and check out info below re Amsterdam. Ciao!
Beet Tartar & Sesame Labneh
Recipe is inspired by a recipe from Jamie Magazine, Aug 2017 and a dinner we had a ABCV NYC.
2 cups / 500 g Greek or Turkish Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 kg / 1 lb beetroots
2 tbsp capers
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp horseradish (or mustard)
1 handful fresh dill
1 handful fresh mint leaves
salt & pepper
1 handful pistachio nuts, finely chopped
fresh dill, chopped
fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tbsp capers, halved
rye bread crisps, tender gem lettuce or cucumber slices
Start by making the labneh. Add salt to the yogurt and stir until smooth. Wrap the yogurt in a cheese cloth or other clean thin cloth and tie it over a bowl for about 2 hours or more to allow liquid to be drained (meanwhile, cook the beetroots). You can leave it for 24-36 hours if you prefer a thicker labneh but 2 hours and a gentle squeeze (to get rid of some extra liquid) works fine. Stir in tahini, transfer to a serving bowl and top with a little bit of olive oil.
Peel the beetroots, divide them in quarters and cook in salted water for approx 20 mins min or until tender. When ready, let cool and then transfer them to a food processor along with capers, lemon juice, horseradish, fresh dill, mint and seasoning. Pulse a few times until the beetroot has the consistency of course grits. Not too long or you will end up with a sauce. You can also chop them finely. Arrange the beet tartar on a large serving plate. Fold in large dollops of sesame labneh and top with pistachio, fresh herbs, capers and lemon slices. Add a drizzle of olive oil and serve!
Beet & Labneh Rye Waffle Toast
We made this Waffled rye bread toast with the leftovers. It’s a family favorite and we’ve got another recipe and the whole story behind this method in our latest book. Here are some quick instructions: Simply smudge labneh on two pieces of dark rye bread, add some spinach, fresh dill and mint and a thick layer of beet tartar. Brush a hot waffle iron with butter or coconut oil, combine the two slices and place inside the waffle iron, pressing together lightly. When you’re bread has got a nice and brown waffle pattern, the toast is ready. Cut the waffle toast in half and eat it while it’s hot.
AMSTERDAM & ANTWERP – 7-9 September.
Green Kitchen at Home is being released in Dutch next week and to kick things off, we are coming to Amsterdam and Antwerp for a couple of press events, signings, dinners and talks.
We will have a little talk, signing and dinner at the bookstore ‘t Stad Leest in Antwerp at 19.30 pm on 7 September. Tickets can be booked here.
We are having a little talk + Q&A and a book signing at Limon in Amsterdam on 9 September between 10.30-11-30. There will be nibbles from the book served and we will end with a book signing. There will also be a lunch afterwards (between 12.00-14.00) and we will try to move around so we get the chance to chat with all of you. You can either buy tickets for both the talk and lunch, just the talk or just the lunch. Follow this link to read more about it in Dutch: Greenkitchenbooks.nl