August 28, 2011

Roasted Beet and Nuts Pate

Michael, my brother and I recently visited a vegetarian restaurant in Calgary called The Coup.  Many of their creations were delicious and caught my attention.  However, I love meat and have some kind of animal protein with each meal, so eating an entire meal without meat was something new for me.  It was new for my companions as well.  The whole time we were joking about going to another restaurant after so that we could get a steak.  Something familiar was missing from our meals and they seemed somewhat incomplete (despite the great taste).

I had to bring an appetizer to my aunt's for supper tonight and my immediate thoughts were of chicken wings or cheese and crackers.  But then I thought about doing my own rendition of the Beetnuts appetizer from The Coup.  It was different, but also quite memorable. Beets are just making their seasonal appearance at local Farmers' Markets and so is freshly grown dill. I would definitely recommend this to be served with sliced cucumbers or rice crackers.

Roasted Beet and Nuts Pate

3 large beets
1 or 2 large cloves of garlic minced
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup nuts (I used blanched almond and cashews no salt)
1/4 tsp salt (more to taste if you want)
1/8 tsp ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill 
250 g tub of cream cheese (or goat cheese) - softened 
1 cucumber sliced

Wash the beets.  Roast the beets in the oven at 350'C for one hour.  Remove from oven and remove outside peel.  Let cool in fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Using a food processor, grind nuts until coarsely pureed.  Place in a medium size bowl and set aside.  Cut beets into large chunks.  Using a food processor, coarsely puree the beets, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and dill.  Mix the beet mixture into the nuts. 

In a serving dish, place the softened cream cheese and smooth down.  Place the beet and nut mixture on top of the cream cheese and gently even out. Place sprigs of dill for garnish.

Serve with diagonally sliced cucumber (or your favourite vegetable).  You could also serve this with your favourite crackers.

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