It’s not every day your friends elope. Well, ours did. On Friday.
We should have known something was up when Suzie and JoJo sent us a printed invitation for a Shabbat potluck in the park. Technically, there was no way it could have been a wedding invitation, because observant Jews can’t marry on the Sabbath. (And since Suzie is in rabbinical school, she definitely knows the rules.) Well, they surprised us all and got married at Cambridge City Hall on Friday morning. Our Facebook news feeds announced the good news, and we were all able to enjoy the photos from our desks at work.
For our contribution to the wedding feast, I made beet tzatziki, using a recipe of Ana Sortun’s (of Oleanna and Sofra Bakery). There’s something about beets that makes me think romance: the deep pink color, their sweet earthy flavor. I used an entire bunch for the recipe, and their prep couldn’t be easier. Trim the stems if it’s a whole beet, wrap each individually in foil, place them on a baking sheet (this protects your oven from beet drippings) and toss them into a preheated 450 degree oven for about an hour. I say an hour because there’s no hard and fast rule for a beet; you’ll know they’re done when a sharp knife slides easily into the root. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel if you’re not scared about staining one. (I personally am.) Grate the beets using the large holes of a box grater.
And don’t toss those stems and leaves! They are a fantastic dish unto themselves; think of them like a leafy green, like a Swiss chard. Sauté them up in some olive oil and chopped garlic for another tasty dish.
Beet Tzatziki from Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean by Ana Sortun
1 cup cooked, shredded beets
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (about 1 clove)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ¼ lemon)
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole-milk plain yogurt (I actually used a low-fat Greek yogurt and no one knew the difference)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Place the garlic into a medium mixing bowl with the lemon juice and salt. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. This takes some of the heat out of the raw garlic.
- Stir in the yogurt, olive oil and black pepper.
- Fold in the shredded beets and dill, and re-season with salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Serve the beets cold or at room temperature.