Tag Archives: Beets

Beet It

I know, I know… I am SO punny. No one has ever made this joke before. Anyway.

Photo c/o BlogHer.com

Beets! They are beautiful in color and phenomenal in texture. If you’ve ever had a bad borsht experience, maybe you’re scared of them. As a kid I vividly remember frozen Tupperware full of hot pink soup and I never, EVER wanted to taste that terrifying liquid. But I have moved on. Grown up. You know.

Most beets are boiled, broiled, sauteed, or roasted and while they are delicious cooked up, they are also phenomenal raw. Just be aware: your hands will turn a lovely shade of magenta if you work with them bare-skinned.

On the menu:
Raw beet salad (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Raw Beet Salad)

1 pound beets
1/2 pound carrots
1 tsp spicy whole grain mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel beets and carrots, and then use a potato peeler to shave them into long strips. Mince the shallot and add to beets and carrots. Toss with mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

*Please note: due to technical difficulties (seriously, the story of my life this week) the picture above is not of the crispy, tangy salad I myself created and enjoyed. Using my recipe above, your salad will be “earthier” looking than the one in the picture. Go with it, friends.

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Jean-Georges Nougatine

Sometimes, even as a lover of food, I forget why New York is great. It’s loud, its manic pace is constant, and as the weather gets warmer, the city gets smellier. I’m ready for a change. But then, out of the blue, I have a New York moment and I remember why there is no place like this place and how I will never be able to find another like her.

Jean-Georges with a Lady Who Lunches - a blurry camera picture because we were trying hard to be classy and discreet

When I sat down at a Jean-Georges restaurant near Central Park on Wednesday for lunch and Jean-Georges himself walked out of the kitchen, I felt like 13-year-old-Lauren would have felt if Jonathan Taylor Thomas had walked out of the kitchen. I’m not ashamed to say I got butterflies. He’s just that good.

Nougatine New York Magazine praises this little sun-filled restaurant at 1 Central Park West as “possibly the least heralded and most overlooked restaurant in town.” My good friend Becca invited me to lunch as payment for a cake I made her (seriously, does baking have its perks, or what?) and on the hottest day of an unseasonably warm April, we sat down for a posh meal where the dining room is run like a well-oiled machine and the Ladies Who Lunch throw birthday parties with Tiffany blue boxes as table favors.

On the menu:
Warm Beets and Rich Yogurt
field mache and lemon oil
Shrimp Salad
with avocado and tomato champagne vinegar dressing
Salt and Pepper Calamari
with citrus-chili dip
Roasted Red Snapper
with broccoli raab and sweet garlic-lemon broth
Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin
with miso butter and roasted brussel sprouts
Creme Caramel
with sacristan (puff pastry twisted and dipped in sugar) and citrus
Jean-Georges Warm Chocolate Cake
with vanilla bean ice cream
[the prix fixe meal allows you to choose 2 small plates plus a dessert for $26]

Salt and pepper calamari

Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin (blurry because I barely had time to snap this picture before I dove into the deliciousness)

Verdict: To. Die. For. “What’s in that, crack cocaine?” I wish I could say my dining partners and I said this only once. Everything was so delicious, warm, inviting. Each bite left all the right pleasant notes in my mouth. The portions were perfect, and I left the restaurant feeling sated and glowing. Forget the temperatures outside. I was radiating sunshine from inside. The prices at Nougatine are far more reasonable than any of Jean-Georges’ other restaurants in Manhattan, but it’s still not a cheap meal. I make it a point to seek out affordable, delicious meals in New York so believe me when I tell you this: if I had only $100 to spend on one final meal in New York City, I would take it to Nougatine.

Red Snapper

The famous Jean-Georges Chocolate Cake with vanilla bean ice cream

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