When it comes to food, it's amazing how tastes can change over the years. It's not always the case, but many a childhood 'ewe' or 'yuck' will fall by the wayside through the years, as our palates develop, and as I like to call it, mature. Hopefully this maturation progresses alongside the rest of our beings too, and while I would never judge anyone who kept their childlike tendencies for as long as they could, I might raise a well-plucked eyebrow if, at 40 years old, you still haven't ventured out to see if you've grown past your eight year old self in food tastes. You know, to actually realize mushrooms taste magical and those green peas your Gramma overcooked are actually tiny morsels of heaven when picked fresh from the garden? Yeah, those things.
Case in point? Beets. When I met my husband, he'd never met a beet he didn't think rhymed with 'hippie', and I can't even count the number of times the sarcasm flew when my grater popped out to help me get my beet fix in. We've been hanging around each other a long while now me and McD, and while he's still not into eggplant (and frankly I'm not a huge fan either), he's matured in his food tastes, and grown to actually love beets.
They get asked for now, and his fave workday lunch is a roasted beet & fennel salad from his local cafe. The guy has gone beet crazy, in fact. This has been helped by research that shows beet is an athletic performance enhancer, and active folk from triathletes to gymnasts are consuming beets in hoards in an attempt to reach that next level of performance.
Whatever your reasons for eating them, you can't really lose as these red roots grow locally, are inexpensive, and rich in iron and fibre to boot. It's my pleasure to share with you my latest use for beets, paired with hummus & arugula for a simple yet elegant appetizer at this round of the Virtual Vegan Potluck. A HUGE thanks to Annie for putting this together, and for everyone taking part in this weekend's blogging event. I can't wait to see what else is on the table!
Beet & Hummus Flatbread with Arugula:
- (1) recipe your favorite pizza dough (enough for one pizza, IPOM dough recipe here)
- Olive oil for brushing the dough while baking
- (1.5) cups your favorite hummus, IPOM basic hummus recipe here
- (2) medium/large beets, roasted, peeled & finely cubed (about 1.5-2 cups once chopped)
- (1) tbsp olive oil
- (1) tbsp red wine vinegar
- (1) tbsp shallots, minced
- (1) tsp sugar
- (1/4) tsp salt
- (2-3) large handfuls baby arugula
To make this simple yet delicious appetizer or main dish, simply prepare or gather your favorite pizza dough and prepare it for baking. You will also need hummus prepared, as well as your roasted beets.
For the dough:
To have it ready for baking, I do this by leaving pre-made dough out on the counter for at least 1-2 hours, ensuring the kitchen is warm & cozy to encourage the dough to warm up and to activate the yeast.
For the beets:
You will need pre-roasted beets as well for this, and you can do this up to 4-5 days in advance by washing the beets and wrapping them in foil that has been pricked 6-8 times with a fork. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about an hour, or until soft, making sure to have them in a pan to catch any drips of beet juice as they bake. To keep the beets until ready for use, simply keep them wrapped in the fridge.
When ready to use, unwrap the beets and running them under cold water, peel the skins off with your hands & discard. Chop your beets into (1/2) inch cubes and set aside in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallots, sugar & salt and drizzle this over the chopped beets. Mix the beets & the dressing well and set aside.
For the hummus:
Have your favourite hummus ready to go for this, and I suggest a plain hummus for simplicity, but you can really use whatever you fancy here. You will need roughly 1/5-2 cups for this, depending on the size of your flatbread.
To bake the dough, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stretch onto a flat oiled cookie sheet and brush the dough liberally with olive oil all over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until fragrant and starting to crisp up on the edges. It can be helpful at the 10 minute mark to prick the dough here and there with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Once ready, remove the flatbread from the oven and allow to cool for a minute. Slather the hummus evenly over the flatbread and follow with the dressed beet mixture, dotting it about here and there, evenly. Top with a generous few handfuls of baby arugula and you are ready to serve! Cut as you desire into small or larger pieces and enjoy!
Perfect with a glass of white wine and a few laughs with good friends. Even my husband would enjoy this one, so if you've got a friend or two that has yet to mature past their childhood food tastes, you might just turn their world around with this one ;)