Pureed Root Vegetables
For many people, ‘easy’ means opening the freezer door and popping something in the microwave. For the last few years I’ve made an effort to do that less often – much less often – and I’ve made substantial progress. I rarely visit the frozen foods aisle any more, and I only notice it when I’ve gotten home and am putting things away.
In my opinion, serving honest-to-goodness fresh food that your family really likes makes you something of an unsung hero. The very nature of feeding a family can be so tedious – ‘What, I just made dinner yesterday!’ – that it is a huge act of love. And while you are giving everyone, yourself included, the nutrition your bodies most need, you are also building family traditions and giving your children the ability to go out and feed themselves intelligently later in life.
So here is another easy vegetable recipe, part of a series. Grab some carrots instead of frozen peas the next time you are looking for a veg. The recipe here is for beets with tamari and pickled ginger, but you can use carrots with fresh ginger and orange zest or juice with the same method.
Pureed Beets or Carrots
2 pounds beet roots and/or carrots*
1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp pickled ginger
1 tsp olive oil, optional
Wash vegetables and gently scrub with a little brush. Peel away any funky skin; carrots will hardly need to be peeled at all, but beet skin, especially on larger roots, can be tough. Use your judgement, keeping in mind that you’ll be pureeing at the end. That hides a lot of flaws. Wear gloves if you want to avoid staining your skin.
Cut the roots into medium-sized cubes or rings and put in a large saucepan. Just cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook over medium-high heat until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes for beets and 15 for carrots. For some annoying reason beets boil over very easily and can get dark red juice all over the place, which is why you need a large pan.
Drain, add seasonings and puree with handheld blender or in blender. Serve right away.
If you have the extra time, roast the whole uncut vegetables in foil for about an hour rather than boiling them. It takes no extra prep time other than cooking, and the results are firmer and tastier. Beets can be easily peeled after roasting. Carrots will need orange juice or another liquid added at the end.
*other root vegetables such as parsnips and turnips can be used, alone or in combination.
Date: July 23, 2011