Love Your Food!
Ok, I’ll admit it. I have a crush on Laura Calder. Ever since I discovered her show French Food at Home years ago I have had this romanticized vision of her life – her beautiful kitchen in Halifax (where she filmed the show), her awesome copper cookware, her adventurous life frolicking around France and Germany. Her no nonsense approach to food. Her frocks and aprons. Ok, I’m starting to sound creepy! I know life isn’t how they make it out to be on TV and I don’t pretend to know who Laura is (although I did serve her tea once while working at a little cafe in Hali – I was a little star struck!). I can, however, relate to Laura’s love not only of good food but of sharing that food. I’m glad she’s making a case for the lost art of dinner partying. I’ve always enjoyed Laura’s sense of humour, both as a TV host and as a writer. I dove into her most recent cookbook last night as if it was a novel. One tale in particular in which she describes being followed by a white balloon down certain Halifax streets sent me back to some very happy memories of my own.
It is for all these reasons that I continue to read Laura’s recipes despite their constant taunting. The majority, after all, are French inspired which means they are full of butter, flour, cream and all those tempting ingredients that I must avoid. Lots of recipes can be adapted though, and I accept the challenge. And some, lucky for me, are just perfect the way they are. Like the one for roasted beet hummus. When I came across this one last night I immediately started soaking some dried chickpeas from my cupboard so that I could experiment today. And experiment I did! The hot pink dip I ended up with left me gleeful. Yes, giddy and full of joy…for the little things in life. Like lettuce rolled up with roasted beet hummus and a single leaf of basil (right from my window sill!). Heavenly. And healthy to boot! I did tweak Laura’s recipe a bit, mostly because I didn’t have any pine nuts on hand. I highly recommend you try it out. And pick up one of Laura’s books while you’re at it! Remember, food can (and should) bring you joy!
Roasted Beet Hummus (Laura Calder)
1 medium beet, roasted, peeled and chopped (I chopped it first so roasting didn’t take as long)
About 1 1/4 c cooked chickpeas (1/2 c dried)
1/3 c tahini
1/4 c toasted pine nuts (I must try this next time!)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 c olive oil (I found 1/4 c to be sufficient, at least without the pine nuts)
Juice of 1 lemon (I used 1 1/2 lemons)
Salt and pepper
Puree all the ingredients in a food processor. Check the seasoning, and serve.
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Love Your Food!