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Picnic Basket Side Dishes - Deviled Red Beet Eggs
Plentiful and beautiful - beetiful!

Plentiful and beautiful - beetiful!

Picnic season is here! We're going to take the next few blog posts to talk about quick ideas for picnic sides using ingredients you can find at the farmers market. Today, it's deviled red beet eggs - what's a picnic with deviled eggs!

Sure, we could have just shared a recipe for plain old white deviled eggs, but it's red beet season, and nothing is prettier than a red beet deviled egg. There are a few steps to this recipe, but stick with it because the the outcome is well worth it!

Step One: pickle your beets! Here's an easy recipe for pickled beets, standard, quick and not complicated. You'll end up with great pickled beets.

Step Two: Make hard boiled eggs, the most important step to get right!. Now this may sound silly, but you want old eggs. Older eggs are easier to peel. Our farmers bring such fresh eggs to market that if you try to hard boil them the day you get them home you'll end up with half the white stuck to the shell. You'll be cursing at the farmer and that's just not good. Your eggs should be about 2 weeks old to make peeling easier. Follow the directions here to make a perfect hard boiled egg.

Step Three: Pickle your eggs by soaking them with your pickled beets. You'll likely need to turn them midway through the process to get them a uniform color. I like to keep them in them with the beets for about 12 hour. After that the yolks begin to soak up the beet color and, well, it just isn't pretty.

Step 4: Devil them! Where to begin? There are so many recipes for deviled eggs. I love the recipe in Food With Friends by Leela Cyd. Yep, I still buy cookbooks, still love them! I kept my filling simple for this post, but there are so many different ways to flavor your filling it's difficult to decide. 

Here's my process with my tried and true process. I make a lot of deviled eggs. My 93 year old mother-in-law loves them and I want to stay on her goos side.

Food with Friends!

The yolks are perfect. If you are getting a gray ring around your yolk, you're over-cooking your eggs! 

Mash Yolks!

I love using my potato ricer to mash my yolks - gives a smooth texture!

So Easy!

Really - you can do more than rice potatoes with your potato ricer!

Prep the filling!

I used mayo, cumin, turmeric and lemon juice.

Add-ins:

Consider adding some relishes or salsa from Hazel & Ash or Laura's Garden

Piping Bag!

I use a piping bag to fill the eggs - looks prettier!

Creative

I like to use different tips to make the filling look nice.

Add toppings

I added capers, diced pickled beets, and slivers of Laura's Garden Pickled Carrots

There you go, deviled red beet eggs - so delicious.

What's next? Tomorrow a great cabbage and cucumber slaw, plus zucchini ribbon salad. That's right - ribbons - the spiralizer is making it's debut. Wednesday we're cooking up an amazing carrot dip - delicious, simple and oh so good for you. And Thursday we're featuring a reader recipe using jams from Mamy'li Jam! 

Get Pickled!

Market folks love pickles. We love to talk about our pickle recipes. We think everyone should pickle. It's so easy, especially refrigerator dill pickles.

Jenelle from Old Homestead Farm and I have been making this recipe for years. It is perfect. It is simple. It is delicious. Super crunchy! And once you get a few jars going, you can add more cukes (farmer lingo for cucumber!) to the mix to reuse the pickling juice. Or, you could add other produce - broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, pretty much anything.

Plus, I have a guilty obsession - applesauce from Whiskey Hollow. I'm swimming in quart jars to reuse from my applesauce obsession. If you've not tried it, well, the more for me! Hint - they are great pickle jars too!

So here's a link to the recipe for Refrigerator Dill Pickles from Once Upon a Chef. Unlike other recipes that I fuss with, add a little more of this, little less of that, this is one that goes untouched. Its that good!

So, be sure to pick up fresh Kirby cukes and dill from the market and you're all set for pickle glory! Remember, these are fresh refrigerator dill pickles, no hot water bath processing. Easy!

Summer Slaw

Prepping your ingredients for the slaw is just a quick chopping of the cabbage and cukes. When slicing the cabbage just slice around the core. For the cukes, cut length-wise into quarters, and then slice away.

And now for the shelling. I do love shelling peas, its nothing you can hurry, you simply sit and shell, and relax. I shelled a basket of peas probably about one and a half cups, worth every minute. I steamed the shelled peas for about 4 minutes in a steamer, and then ran under cold water to cool quickly.

Sliver the mint leaves

All good - all green! I was at the Eagleview and Malvern Farmers Markets last week and picked up:

  • Conehead cabbage from Down to Earth Harvest, one because I just love the shape of it, and two for it's sweet flavor - perfect in slaws! One head for this recipe
  • English Cukes from Kneehigh Farm, who can resist, the first of the season! 3, but they were small. 
  • Sweet shelling peas from Old Homestead Farm - love peas, and actually love shelling them! One basket
  • Mint - about 6 - 8 good sized leaves

And yes, I'm making slaw with all three of them and bringing it all together with a maple mustard lemon vinaigrette!

Combine all of the ingredients in a dressing container and give it a good shake. I mean really shake it - you want the mustard to emulsify the dressing to keep it from separating. Shake a little more - perfect - you're there!

For the Maple Mustard Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbsp Whiskey Hollow maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Whiskey Hollow maple mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Kastania olive oil
  • lemon juice, about 1/3 cup
  • salt and pepper

In a big bowl toss the sliced cabbage, cukes, cooled peas, and mint - mix it up good - but don't smash those precious peas! Pour on the dressing to taste - you may need all of it - go ahead - use it up! Toss some more! Let it sit for about 30 minutes to really incorporate the flavors. Then have at it - crunchy and delicious - and, good for you too!

I served this up with a chicken that I got from Canter Hill Farm, spatchcocked and semi de-boned whole chicken that was marinated in lemon juice and grilled to juicy perfection. Had full intentions to share that with you too but dinner got away from me. Guests arrived. Bourbon sours were served, and well, you know the rest of the story. Take my word, it was delicious. More on spatchcocking in another post.

Sunday Suppers, Market Kitchen: Early June

Sundays in the market kitchen are so inspiring with a fridge full of treasures from Saturday farmers markets. And, Sunday dinners, are a perfect time to take a relaxed approach to playing in the kitchen with all of your market finds to create a dinner for friends and family!

To start, a simple snack of Stoudt's Roasted Thyme Cheese, sliced, room temp; served with Crisp & Co. Pinot Noir Pickled Beets! I love this cheese from Stoudt's, delicious for snacking and melting in sandwiches. Slightly sweet and nutty, with a definite note of thyme.

The sides, well, its all about the veggies! Both of the sides are based on vegan dishes from Phaidon's Vegan cookbok, however, this meal is far from vegan as you will see!

Veg #1: A salad of Down to Earth Harvest's radicchio, grilled, and topped with Old Homestead Farms cherry tomatoes, B&H Organic's radishes and mint from my "garden" - the only thing that grows in my garden.  To grill the radicchio simply cut in half, drizzle with olive oil and grill till it begins to char. Remove and cut into 1 inch sections. Slice the radishes, quarter the tomatoes, sliver the mint and toss with a simple mustard vinaigrette. Plate the grilled radicchio on one half of the platter and the tossed veggies on the other. Drizzle a touch of dressing on the radicchio too.

Veg #2: Peas, Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms with Penne in a Saffron Cream Sauce.

  • Ready the cream sauce by heating about 1 cup of cream - real cream! When warm take off the heat and add about 1 teaspoon saffron threads to infuse.
  • Cook about 1/2 pound penne pasta, fresh from Aunt Mamie's Italian Specialities.
  • Ready the vedge. I used a mix of sugar snap peas and snow peas, purple and green, as well as the last of the season asparagus from B&H Organics, cut into bite size pieces. In a large saute pan, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil, add about 1/4 cup chopped onions or leeks, saute till translucent. Add slivered shiitake mushrooms and brown slightly. Add the peas and asparagus and toss, sauting to slightly tender.
  • Add the pasta and cream sauce. Season with salt & pepper. So easy and so delicious.

You can stop here and make a vegetarian very happy, but I bought meat from Carnicopia, beef, expertly butchered, grass fed goodness, tri-tip steaks. These steaks were beautifully marbled with fat. They grilled up perfectly - wish the photo was a bit better - a perfect medium rare. Salt and pepper, nothing more, the meat has all the flavor. 

Dessert - the easy button! Peach Cream Croissant Tarts from Malvern Buttery and Vanilla Strawberry Shortbread Cookies from Flour & Oats!

Beet It!

We love beets here at Growing Roots - it is the veggie of choice that stands as our logo, it's the name of the Growing Roots blog, The Market Beet, it's everwhere. Everything about them is just so appealing - their beautiful red color, or gold for golden beets, or red and white for chioggia beets. So tasty, and so good for you too!

Well a good friend of Growing Roots, Nicole Riegl, from The Riegl Palate posted a great recipe last week for Roasted Beet Hummus. And, since we're just entering beet season, we though this was a perfect time to tip our hat to the beet, and show you something new to prepare using the humble beet!

Roasted-Beet-Hummus-1024x683.jpg

Just look at this beautiful hummus featuring beets! Imagine how delicious this would be with rye crackers, or on bread with a crumble of goat cheese! 

Please visit The Riegl Palate for this recipe and to explore more of Nicole's beautiful blog!