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This Past Week at La Domestique: Beets


Last week at La Domestique we cooked in the moment, celebrating a bountiful harvest of beets in my Colorado garden. The earthy sweetness of beets provided tons of inspiration for cooking with flavorful ingredients like curries, ginger, and even chocolate. If you’re sick of the same old roasted beets, I’ve got plenty of ideas!

Just in case you missed anything, here is a recap for you!

  • Monday:  Announcing beets as the ingredient of the week in our second videocast. Also, congrats to Leslie who won our giveaway contest- a copy of David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop.
  • Tuesday:  10 Ways Tuesday! Creative ideas for cooking with beets and beet greens during summer.

Beets & Cured Salmon

Happy Friday! Today’s post is inspired by Jamie’s Food Escapes, on the Cooking Channel. During his trip to Stockholm, Sweden, Jamie made his version of gravlax. The Swedish love their cured fish, especially gravlax, which is raw salmon cured in sugar, salt, and other flavorings. In her book, Handmade Living, Swedish born Lotta Jansdotter shares a recipe for Gravad Lax that she learned from her father. Gravlax is sliced paper thin and often served as part of a Swedish smorgasbord, which means “bread and butter table” or a festive buffet.

As I pondered over how to end beet week, I thought of how Jamie Oliver used grated raw beets as part of his salmon cure. The beets dye the salmon garnet red and contribute a sweet, earthy flavor. It’s really beautiful sliced because you see layers of color in the salmon ranging from deep red to bright orange. We’re also cooking in the moment as wild Alaskan salmon is currently in season and there’s some gorgeous product at the fish market.


Storyboard: Beets

Beet Storyboard (c)2011


Right now my garden in Louisville, Colorado (just outside of Boulder), is bursting with beets. I planted the common red garden beet and golden yellow beets in my plot. Look out for other hybrids in farmers markets, like the Chiogga beet (aka candy cane), which has rings of red and white flesh. Beets are a root vegetable with generous edible leafy green tops. Beet greens are thick and maintain their texture during braising. They taste mild with a hint of beetiness (tastes like a beet, go figure). Some beets are round, while others are elongated. The flavor of hybrid varieties like Chiogga is sweeter and milder than the intense earthiness and slight bitter character of red beets. According to the Produce Bible, beets contain more sucrose than any other vegetable. This natural sweetness is enhanced by roasting.


Cook in the Moment: Beet Lasagna

I made something for you. I made a new recipe and it just so happens to be vegetarian. For real. I spent a lot of time thinking about beets today. . . probably too much time. I pondered their sweet, earthy flavor and jewel toned colors. I thought of my all time favorite beet dish: salad with goat cheese, beets, and hazelnuts. When beets and hazelnuts get together it’s pure magic, there’s just something special about that combo. My brain began to hurt as I tried and tried to come up with a unique and tasty recipe (I would be terrible on Top Chef, just not a quick thinker). Then it came to me- beet lasagna! I know it’s summer and you don’t want anything too rich or heavy. Please bear with me, I promise this dish is not super rich. How to make a lasagna that’s not heavy? Focus on just a few stellar flavors: beets and thyme, ricotta and lemon zest, burrata and hazelnuts.


10 Ways Tuesday: Beets

Beet (c)2011

I’ve come up with 10 ways to cook with beets during summer:


1.  Smoked

The recipe for Smoked Beets in Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life, utilizes a charcoal grill and rosemary for intense flavor. The beets are served alongside grilled steak with a cottage cheese dressing. Smoky beets would also be tasty on an antipasti platter with some grilled bread and smoked meats. Use a tangy, creamy cheese and some honey to provide a foil for the smoky flavors.

2.  Hummus

In Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s family cookbook, River Cottage Every Day, he shares a recipe for Beet and Walnut Hummus that includes tahini, garlic, and lemon but no chickpeas. A recipe from the Produce Bible for Beet Hummus makes use of chickpeas, beets, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin.

3.  Roasted

I’m obsessed with the London River Cafe cookbooks for their fantastic design as well as their focus on showcasing the flavors of beautiful ingredients. In Italian Easy you’ll find a recipe for beets roasted with garlic and thyme then served with arugula, grated horseradish, and red wine vinaigrette. Treat roasted beets with some care, don’t just shove them in some foil.


Ingredient of the Week : Beets

Happy Monday! It’s time to announce the ingredient of the week. Summer is officially here and vegetables are ready for harvest. Check out the video to see what’s inspiring us this week.

Did you enter our giveaway contest during Ice Cream Week?


The winner of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz is announced at the end of today’s video. Thanks to all who commented on our blog, we really appreciate you. If you are our winner, please click here to contact us by email so we can arrange for shipping. Thanks for watching and have a fantastic Monday!

This Past Week at La Domestique: Ice Cream

Last week at La Domestique we welcomed summer with homemade ice cream. Tuesday was summer solstice, the longest day of the year. To celebrate, we rolled out our first video and ran a giveaway for David Lebovitz’s ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop. Make sure to watch our videocast this Monday to see who the lucky winner is!

Just in case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap for you!

Weekly Recap:

  • Monday:  Announcing ice cream as the ingredient of the week using our first videocast ever! Beginning of the book giveaway contest.
  • Tuesday:  10 Ways Tuesday! Fresh ideas for homemade ice cream. Experimenting with different flavors, adding liqueur to ice cream, using spices like saffron, making savory ice cream + more.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Part 2

Happy Friday! A week of experimenting with ice cream here at La Domestique has got me in a nostalgic mood. The husband and I used to live in this cute little neighborhood where just outside our door we were lucky enough to have a bistro and an Italian style espresso cafe that served gelato. In the summer we would walk over to the bistro for dinner and a bottle of wine, visiting with the bistro owner who became our friend. After supper a trip to the espresso cafe was always in order (I need a petit something sweet after every meal). We ordered our favorite flavor gelato and an espresso. A table by the window was good for people watching.  When the gelato was gone and espresso cups emptied, we wandered home slowly, full and happy just to be together.

Espresso is hot and ice cream is cold. They make a good pair. It’s fun to pour hot espresso over cold ice cream- the Italians call that an affogato.


Storyboard: Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream StoryBoard (c)2011

Making ice cream at home is simple. The steps are few and the ingredients are pantry staples. This week in the test kitchen I was blown away by how wonderful homemade ice cream is. “Why haven’t I been doing this all along?” I thought. “I will never go out for ice cream again- this is so GOOD!” I exclaimed to the husband. Maybe that’s why most of us don’t make ice cream at home- it would result in a serious loss of control. Chaos would ensue. We would have to buy bigger pants.

Let’s not think those depressing thoughts right now. It’s summer-a happy time. Summer is a time for eating ice cream and listening to oldies on the radio (er ipod). Summer is a time for fun things like bike rides and sitting by the pool. It’s hot and ice cream is very important in keeping people cool and replacing electrolytes. Let’s go with that, shall we? Good plan.


Cook in the Moment: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

The Quest

Ice cream is a big subject to tackle. Where to begin? I tried to think up a new ice cream flavor to impress you. I fretted over this for days. Then I decided that rather than come up with something new, I would revisit something old. Vanilla ice cream is the original. It’s ice cream pared down to the simplest, most straightforward of flavors. Some might even call it boring, but that’s because they’ve never tried homemade vanilla bean ice cream. If you’re going to keep it simple, you’ve got to use exceptional ingredients. I am obsessed with ingredients. Tell me the story of an ingredient, let me smell it, touch it, taste it. I want to know. Things. About the world. The idea came to me that I should begin a quest for the best homemade vanilla ice cream. My journey starts with the vanilla bean and a trip to the Savory Spice Shop.


About Jess

Jess O'Toole is La Domestique

Hi, I’m Jess, aka La Domestique. No matter how busy or cooking-challenged you are I can help you live the good life and enjoy fresh, healthy meals at home every day. Find out more

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