Friday, June 13, 2014

Deconstructed Borscht

Talking to Sabine about borscht while I was taking photos at ECCO on Overton Park the other day made me start to think about what all I would do with this traditional dish. So we thought about it, looked up a few recipes to glean the basic structure of borscht…and then we decided to just take it all apart. It's earthy as all get out with a good mix of mushrooms, sweet due to the beets, and tangy from the lemon, dill, and yogurt sauce. Maybe the presentation makes it look complicated, but it's simpler than it looks to make since it's basically making a dressing, putting veg in the oven, and whisking a sauce.

We picked up the beets from Brandon at Delta Sol Farm last weekend at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market. If you haven't stopped by yet,  you really should check it out this Saturday! It's easy to park close, quick to run through and survey the goods, and you'll probably have the opportunity to catch up with a lot of nice folks you know while you shop. We like the  relaxed, low-key tone there, and we're so proud of our friend Caitlin and all she's doing to make it a great experience. There are great vendors with stuff that'll give you all kinds of ideas about what to make this Saturday for dinner outside or for an excellent Father's Day meal.

So, a plan has been forming around here lately. Really, one of the best things about summer is not having any sort of regimented meal planning at all and just letting all the amazing produce that's out there in abundance be the guiding factor in what you decide to cook. This summer, we want to do a post each week or two about what we're using from the many Memphis farmers markets all over town and what we've been inspired to make with our purchases. We'll see what's up next!

Deconstructed Borscht

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 cups cubed, peeled beets
3 cups wild mushrooms (We used chanterelles, morels, and maitake.)
 Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to tatste)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Zest from 1 lemon
3 sprigs dill (chopped, more for garnish)
Thinly sliced shallots and purple cabbage (to garnish)

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar to create a simple vinaigrette. Toss the beets with half of the vinaigrette and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and allow beets to cook for 20 minutes. Toss the mushrooms with the other half of the vinaigrette and season them with salt and pepper. Spread mushrooms onto a separate parchment-lined baking sheet and into the oven alongside the beets for 15 minutes.

While the beets and mushrooms roast, assemble the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt, lemon, and dill in a small bowl. Spread the yogurt sauce on the bottom of a plate. Top that with the warm roasted beets and the mushrooms. Garnish with shallots, cabbage, and dill sprigs. (Serves 2.)


Jacki @ Two Forks One Love said...

This sounds so good. I have it pinned to try!

Muhammad said...

First thing's first: I'm so glad that this blog exists! Over the years, I've made quite a few of the recipes featured here (multiple times). So I think it's time to actually start commenting about the recipes I've made.

So I made this last night. The taste was interesting. With that said, here's the deal: I've never had borscht soup before, so I'm not sure what the essential flavor is supposed to be like. I only used chanterelles mushrooms (because those are the only ones I could find undried and I didn't have the patience to reconstitute any morel or maitake mushrooms — I was rushing). And I didn't do the garnish part with shallot, cabbage, or dill sprigs.

With that said, there was enough of a flavor and texture there to make me want to try this again and take my time with it to make sure I'm following all the instructions and using all the recommended ingredients. I could tell there was potential there, but it was like something I can't quite put my finger on was missing. I'll update when I make it again — the proper way.

The thick texture and tang of the greek yogurt/dill/lemon mix was nice against the subtle sweetness of the beets, and the texture and earthy flavor on the chanterelles mushrooms helped to make a satisfying chew with every bite. Even though I didn't use all the suggested ingredients, my recommendation to fellow readers is to give it a try! I know I'll be trying again.