this summer doesn’t feel like summer at all, i tell anyone who will listen. I’ve been spoiled in years past (well not including this year and the one before it) with seemingly never-ending vacation time during summers therefore causing the time to actually live up to its lazy reputation. if I had by way, I’d be traveling a bit and spending the rest of the days leisurely cooking and making small improvements to our little garden out back. instead, the garden goes neglected, so much so that a departing neighbor thought she was doing good by destroying my sweet hydrangea bush that had been there since we moved in five years back.
my long days, commuting one hour by car each way, are monotonous and end in me pouring a glass of wine and waiting until the last possible moment to throw something together for mealtime. my baking has taken a back seat because our oven is on the fritz and i haven’t tried to crack that case. I am eager for fall. some wonderful new opportunities and places and spaces await and i’m trying my damnedest not to wish through this time, you know what I mean?
so I cook even though oftentimes I don’t feel like it, and I revel in the compliments from my biggest fan and laugh and the innocent reach for salt when the dish isn’t seasoned enough. boy, do i love that man.
on sunday I visited the italian market and returned with two huge bunches of beets. beets take a little bit of prep due to their sandy nature but the results are so worth it. together with the most perfect yogurt out of a glass jar (what is it about aesthetics that make an item seem tastier?) and a bit of spice and you have yourself quite the side dish, trust me.
so even if you’re not in the mood to cook, I urge you to try this. Oh and if you’re looking for za’taar try here , the great web, or make your own. In fact, even though I have a great supplier, I’ll try and write back. from start to finish it takes a bit of time, but that’s only due to the lengthy (inactive) process of boiling the beets. you can do that a day or so ahead of time and proceed with the rest which should only take 10 minutes or so.
middle eastern beet salad
original puree recipe can be found here
1 1/2 lbs beets, scrubbed and trimmed
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 cup plain whole fat yogurt
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon za’atar (more for serving if you’d like)
place scrubbed beats in a large pot of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until done, about 1 hour. after, drain the beets, run cold water over them and carefully peel. (at this point, you can refrigerate for a day or more).
once cool, dice into small pieces and place into a large bowl. add the garlic, yogurt, olive oil and maple syrup and mix to combine. then, carefully mix in the za’atar seasoning, adding more to the top to serve if you’d like.