This bright beetroot dip doesn’t contain salmon or any other fish raw. In my home-country vegetable spreads and dips that are mushed into a non-smooth consistency are often called caviar. In USSR fish caviar was an expensive product and most of the time was served over special occasions, but people have always wanted something tasty not only during holidays or weekend; and such vegetables as an eggplants, marrows and beetroots were cheap and available almost throughout the year, thus I guess economical version of the “caviar” was created.
Russian Beetroot Caviar
- Boil beetroots until soft. Cool, clean and chop.
- Chop the onion and fry in a oil until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
- Finely chop cucumbers. Also finely chop or mush garlic.
- Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency.
- Check the seasoning. Serve with rye bread or crackers.
A year ago I visited “Taste of Dubai”. It was a large, full of fun and activities festival, dedicated to food, cooking and eating! It brought together restaurant and street food, music performances, cooking classes and live cooking demonstrations. You could order some nice food, relax and enjoy the music, another great way to spend the evening was to cook along with top chefs. Many world-famous and celebrity chefs were invited to the festival, and I could watch how they are preparing amazing and tasty food, and then taste it. Among many chefs was Dhruv Baker, he is known as a winner of MasterChef 2010, and I didn’t miss a chance to sign his cookbook ‘Spice’.
Spiced cauliflower with peas
Adapted from “Spice” by Dhruv Baker.
- Wash the cauliflower and cut into small florets.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add mustard seeds. As soon as the start to pop add all spices and stir for a minute.
- Add cauliflower florets and stir to coat with spices. Cook on a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.
- Add frozen peas and tomato, season to taste. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked.
- Arrange on a serving plate, drizzle with lime juice if using and top with coriander.
Beetroot soup with bacon and chive
- Wash and peel beetroot, cut into 4-5 slices and arrange on a piece of foil. Slice onion and add along with garlic and rosemary to beetroot. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes, then take out onion and garlic. Seal the foil and bake beetroot for 20-30 minutes more or until it’s soft.
- Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Bring water or stock to boil in a medium pan, add potatoes, bay leave and some salt. Slightly cover, simmer on a medium heat until soft. Discard the bay leave.
- Add all roasted vegetables to the pan along with sugar and lemon juice. Season to taste with pink pepper and salt. Simmer all together for 5-6 minutes more.
- In a small pan, fry sliced bacon (without oil) until it’s crispy. Drain on a paper towels.
- Blend the soup until smooth.
- For the garnish, mix cream cheese with sour cream, or use only cream cheese. Chop chives.
- Pour the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with fried bacon, chives and a dollop of cream.
- Serve warm with some bread.
Beetroot dip with coriander crackers
- Put all ingredients, except the pine nuts, in a small bowl of blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste, add pine nuts and pulse a couple of times to keep some nuts pieces; if you like more smooth-pulse again.
- Garnish with pine nuts and some grated parmesan, if desired. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, b.powder, salt and all spices. Mix in olive oil.
- Dissolve sugar in water and pour into dough, knead the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and keep to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- On a lughtly dusted surface, roll the dough (approx 3-4 mm thick) and cut into 5×5 cm squares.
- Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 190C oven for 15 minutes or until golden-brown.