Suzi’s Blog

Beet Hummus form Eat Drink Shine



I recently posted a review of Eat Drink Shine, from authors who are triplets and who founded the very successful Shine restaurant in Boulder. Promoters of healthy, they have a clever strategy. Have the food look beautiful and taste delicious. And suggest things that are just a tad different.  Most of us have had hummus, so it’s not a “brand” new idea. But, a beet hummus? What could that be like? From the picture, we know it is gorgeous.

There’s only one thing to do here: buy some beets and give it a try.

The authors note that here the garlic is simply chopped and can offer up an intense flavor. Do mute those notes, use just one clove. Or, alternatively, roast the garlic for a softer and sweeter flavor.

There is a warning below about dealing with beets: the juice stains. Really, truly, permanently stains. Even your hands as your work with them. So maybe rubber gloves and nothing white unless you want to retire it.

Beet Hummus

Yield: makes 2 ½ cups


  • 4 medium beets, peels on, scrubbed to remove any dirt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Rub the whole beets with olive oil and a touch of salt. Put them on a baking pan and roast for approximately 1 hour, until the beets are easily pierced through with a fork. Let cool slightly.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with a clean dishcloth (be forewarned—the beets will stain it) or use a vegetable peeler. Coarsely chop the beets and put in them food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Serve with your favorite chopped veggies or flatbread. Refrigerate leftovers, if any, in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Source: Eat Drink Shine by Jennifer, Jessica, and Jill Emich [Kyle, 2016]


Sausage and Sage Toad in the Hole with Gravy from The Kitchen Shelf


I recently posted a review of The Kitchen Shelf, a new and clever book for “us.” There are books that tell you how to create a great dish 20 minutes with 3 ingredients. This is not that kind of book. Not that kind at all.

The Kitchen Shelf suggests you stock your panty with just a relative handful of ingredients. Then use for delicious food ideas from around the world.

This is not an “around the world” recipe. Not that kind at all.

Toad in the Hole is a traditional British recipe. You may have had Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding. In a Toad, the Roast Beef disappears and is replaced by sausages. The individual Yorkshire puddings are replaced by on large dish in which the Yorkshire batter is spread out — then adorned with sausage and baked.

It’s a relatively young recipe, first appearing in cookbooks in the mid-1800s. And those first mentions just say to use scraps of meat. This was, first and always, an economy dish.

In The Kitchen Shelf, the recipe is offered with sage replacing more traditional thyme. Gravy is suggested here, too, following the classic recipe, but now that gravy is accented with soy sauce. This is one of the “classic” dishes you probably have never tried. It’s surely worth a weekend fling.

Sausage and Sage Toad in the Hole with Gravy

Yield: serves 4


For the toad in the hole:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 Italian-style pork sausages
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Scant 1 cup milk
  • 10 sage leaves, shredded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the toad in the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼  bouillon (stock) cube made up to 1 cup broth (stock)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Put 1 tablespoon oil into a large roasting pan (2 tablespoons if your sausages are not very fatty), add the sausages, turning to coat in the oil, and then cook in the hot oven for 10 minutes, or until browned. Meanwhile, make the batter. Put the flour and seasoning into a large bowl, make a well in the center, and pour the eggs into it. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking to a smooth batter, it should be the consistency of heavy (double) cream. Stir through the shredded sage.

Remove the pan from the oven, then, working quickly, pour the batter evenly into the pan and return to the oven. The key to a puffy Yorkshire pudding is not to open the oven door, so resist the temptation and cook for 40 minutes, or until risen and golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the onion gravy. Put the oil in a pan, add the onions with some seasoning, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until softened. Reduce the heat slightly, add the sugar, and cook for about another 5 minutes, or until really soft and caramelized. Add the flour, stir to coat, then cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add the broth (stock) a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Once all the broth has been added, cook for 5 minutes, until thickened and bubbling. Add the soy sauce, check the seasoning again, and serve piping hot with the toad in the hole.

Source: The Kitchen Shelf by Eve O’Sullivan and Rosie Reynolds [Phaidon, 2016]


Cookbook Review: Summer Berries and Autumn Fruits by Annie Rigg


I think this is cookbook #19 for Annie Rigg, but I may have miscounted. There’s a long list on Amazon and perhaps I missed one. But I’m so glad I have not missed this specific book. It is bigger and bolder than many of her earlier books. They were often small and very focused [Christmas Cupcakes, Fabulous Brownies]. She a marvelous British writing machine.

No, this big book covers the gardens, fields, and orchards of our lives. And covers it in detail.

The book has 120 recipes, both sweet and savory, but always targeted towards the “just picked” fresh. That book cover [I know, a little pink] is a Rhubarb and Almond Tart. It’s a typical recipe, sixteen ingredients covered in four paragraphs. You can make this delight in an hour.

Chapters here divide the key ingredient up by fruit type:

Citrus: oranges, mandarins, clementines, lemons, limes, bergamots, grapefruit, pomels

Berries & Soft Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, red, black and white currant, blackberries, figs, rhubarb

Stone: peaches, cherries, plum, damsons, apricots

Tropical: mango, melons, pomegranate, coconut, bananas, pineapple, papaya, persimmon

Orchard: apples, pear, quince

I’ve listed the specific fruits here to demonstrate the breadth of the book. That citrus chapter covers far more ground than we often see. But, being British, and being raised in a garden culture, she loves to play with all the possible ingredients. So, yes, she has a recipe for pomelos: Thai Pomelo Salad with Lobster and Crab. Oh, a pomelo is from Southeast Asia and is twice the size of a grapefruit at a bracing 2+ pounds!

What recipe ideas await you? Here is a baker’s dozen of dramatic ones:

Caramelized Mandarin Orange Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Lime Marshmallows with Passion Fruit Sherbet

Orange-Scented Churros with Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Tuna Crudo Salad with Pink Grapefruit and Citrus Dressing

Fig, Hazelnut and Fennel Soda Bread

Berries with Rose, Cardamom and Black Pepper Syrup

Summer Berry Tiramisu Cake [pictured below]

Peach and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad with Pistachio Pesto

Peach and Caramelized Honey Zabaglione Ice Cream with Pistachio Tuiles

Pineapple Empanadas

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Pomegranate

Apple and Smoked Trout Salad with Hazelnuts and Celery

Ham Hock and Pickled Quince Salad

Annie gets terrific mileage out of each recipe here. They can sound a bit complex, and yes you’ll need a dozen ingredients or so, but the steps and time involved here are truly modest for the delectable results. My wife, Suzi, is drooling over this book for her cooking school. She's been serving churros, good ones, for months. But now, she can offer those Orange-Scented Churros with Caramel Chocolate Sauce.

I could easily have picked another 13 recipes for an entirely different list. And you would have been equally tempted. In fact, temptation will poke at you on each and every page. This is a delightful book by a most skilled writer and chef. We endure winters, we are impatient in spring. But when summer and autumn are upon, with all the bounty ready for us to enjoy, this is the book you’ll want as your new summer best friend. It’s a lovely tome offering you pleasure from berry to lemon to peach.