Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Delicious and Lovely Too!

We have had local organic produce delivered weekly by Terra Organics for a good part of a year now. We used to belong to a CSA (community sponsored agriculture): you were allotted a certain amount of food each week that the farm produced. I found that tedious and slightly boring. I had to go to the farm every week and tromp through the dust or rain or mud and often we received the same items (like fennel) over and over again.

So we stopped with the farm share and went for a year with erratic visits to the farmers' market and a lot of guilt that we weren't doing a better job of eating "local". And then we discovered Terra Organics. They delivered! You could get fresh organic produce from your region! There was variety! If you didn't like something (like fava beans), you could request a substitution any time!

But now I am starting to see a similar pattern to the CSA. We get a huge bag of produce once a week and if I don't use it quickly, like in a day or two, I forget about it or push it out of my mind and then suddenly another week has gone by and we have yet another bulging bag of produce to try and shove in the fridge between the other bags of veggies slightly turning into mush. I even found a bag in the back of the fridge today that just contained brownish-green liquid. What it had been, I will never know.

So I am making a renewed effort to start using everything in the veggie delivery again. Luckily, Terra provides a helpful sheet of recipes every week, suggesting ways to use what is in the box.

This week the recipe sheet included Beet Hummus. I modified it slightly. (Less cumin, more garlic) and it is fantastic! The color is so bright and looks fabulous paired with the cucumber and multi-colored carrots that came from Terra as well.
Beet Hummus

4 medium sized beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into quarters
2 generous Tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic
5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

To cook beets, scrub well and then cut off tops and bottoms. Place in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1/2 hour. If the beets are really big, you can always cut them in half so that they cook faster. Then run under cold water to remove the skins.

Combine beets with the rest of the ingredients in your food processor.

Process thoroughly. Check taste and texture. Add more lemon juice or water if it is too thick. Add more salt if necessary.
I love the color! The tahini and lemon cuts down the sweetness of the beets. One bite tastes like regular hummus; the next tastes like beets. I think this would be lovely as an appetizer with cucumber or pita triangles.

It's a nice twist to an old standby. I have been eating hummus for nearly 25 years since my sister married a Palestinian and brought home a ton of "exotic" recipes. So a little switch up is a good thing!

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