Bon Appetit!

My step-mom is a fabulous cook. We visited recently and in addition to returning home with a very happy tummy, I am sharing below three great recipes that I used to make our first Shabbat dinner with friends since last year. Serendipitously, the beet soup matched the table settings, making the meal a feast for the eyes as well as body and soul. The Texas Caviar and the Beet Gazpacho are from my step-mom Lynn Berkowitz.

The menu:
Texas Caviar
Beet Gazpacho
Baked Tilapia with Spinach Pecan Pesto
Steamed broccoli
Trader Joe’s Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream
Ginger Snaps

Beet Gazpacho
5 medium fresh beets
(2 pounds w/o tops)
(Better idea is to use Trader Joe’s ready-cooked beets)
2 cups chicken or veggie stock (I used veggie)
16 ounces sour cream (I used Fage yogurt)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (ditto)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp champagne vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cup medium dice English cucumber with seeds
scooped out.
1/2 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill with extra for serving

If you’re not using Trader Joe’s beets, place fresh beets in large pot of boiling waterand cool uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Strain cooking liquid through fine sieve and also set aside to cool. If you’re using Trader Joe’s beets, you won’t have much liquid so add more of your stock to make the full 1 1/2 cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the beet cooking liquid (or less beet liquid and your stock), the veggie/chickent stock, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Peel the cooled beets with a small paring life or rub the skin off with your hands. Cut the beets in a small to medium dice. (Or use a Vidalia Chop Wizard™ and be done easy peasy.)

Add the beets, cucumber, scallions and dill to the soup. Cover and chill for four hours or over night. Season to taste and serve with dollop of yogurt and an extra sprig of fresh dill.

This soup is so refreshing, I could eat it every day. And besides, what other pink food can you eat that is this healthy?

Texas Caviar
2 cans black-eyed peas
1 can white shoe peg corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used red)
1/2 cup olive oil (less is OK)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used a bit more)
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (I despise cilantro. Didn’t use.)
2 Tbsp French’s honey mustard
1 tsp each salt and pepper
dash cayenne petter

Mix all ingredients and marinate in fridge 4 hours or overnight.
Lasts 1 week.
Serve with Frito Scoops. (I ditched the chips and served this as our salad.)