If there’s one new concept that DRIVEN’s guests hopefully came away with following this month’s Common Scents wine and food tasting event, hosted by the accommodating folks at GLG, it’s that the recipes I prepared are as multi-functional as they are “tweak-able”. It’s safe to say that they are all my own interpretations on established classics, deliberately improvised in order to pair well with the aromatic wines Michael and I selected. With this in mind, everyone is now free to improvise further to suit their own dining setting. Consider the wines you’d like to serve, or course, but also consider your preferences and those of your guests.
One fun seasonal idea involves my Common Scents recipes for the Beet Salad with “Yiddish” Tzatziki, and the Goat Cheese & Kale Pesto Turnovers. Think about the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone’s had their fill of the Thanksgiving dinner usual suspects. What if you could replace those cold turkey sandwiches with these delicious snacks by preparing them days in advance? The salad and tzatziki hold well in the fridge, while the turnovers could even be frozen soon after they’re prepared. See my recipes below, and turn your Thanksgiving into an extended culinary treat. Friday brunch is served!
Autumn Beet Salad
4 tsp olive oil
6 beets, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1 inch disks
½ medium Honey Crisp apple, cut into 1/8 inch cubes
1 cup dill, chopped
½ cup sprouted pecans (regular pecans can be substituted)
smoked salt (optional)
salt and pepper
Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Toss beets with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper and put beets into the pan. Top pan with another piece of foil. Bake at 375 degrees until beets are firm but tender, about 45 minutes (be careful when you check beets for tenderness. Steam builds up under that foil).
Meanwhile, salt the eggplant. Turn a barbecue grill onto high. Pat eggplant slices dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and brush with the other half of the olive oil. Grill eggplant (with cover down) on high about 2 minutes a side. They should be well marked. Cool and cube eggplant. Toss with beets, apples and dill. Combine well, season with salt and pepper (smoked salt if desired). Stir in pecans before serving.
Serve with “Yiddish Tzatziki”
1 ½ cups dill, chopped
zest of one lemon (remember to wash that lemon before zesting)
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 tsp capers, rinsed and minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
a shake of pepper flakes
2 cups Greek style yogurt
Combine all ingredients except yogurt. Then stir in yogurt.
Goat Cheese and Kale Pesto Turnovers
1 package phyllo dough
4 Tbsp butter, melted
5 oz goat cheese, brought to room temperature
4 oz kale pesto (recipe below)
Working with 3 phyllo sheets at a time, brush each of them lightly with melted butter. Put them one on top of another. Cut them (short way) into 6 ‘columns’. At the bottom of each column, put on ½ tsp pesto and 1 tsp goat cheese. Form triangles, brush the tops with butter. Repeat until phyllo is finished (link HERE for a demo of how to make the triangles). Place on cookie sheets that are brushed with a little melted butter, and bake in 375 degree oven for 12 minutes (until they’re flaky and golden brown). Turn baking pans after 6 min. Triangles can be served either warm or at room temperature.
Preparing The Kale Pesto
Combine first 5 ingredients into a food processor and combine well. Add kale and with food processor on, drizzle in olive oil.