New Year Food Swapping
The January Chicago Food Swap
last Sunday was a great way to ring in a new year of food swapping. It took place at Mac & Cheese Productions, a cool converted factory in Ravenswood. I’d estimate there were about 40 people there, and it was nice to be part of a smaller swapping group. This time around, I experimented with making a roasted beet pesto. I researched a few recipes and sort of made my own concoction, which was quite delicious, if I do say so myself. Colin made an equally enticing rosemary garlic potato bread using a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, which was very popular.
I came home with a good haul as well; carrot ginger dressing, some delicious bloody mary mix with vodka, bolognese sauce, sesame miso vinaigrette, hard cider mustard, basil pesto, lentil and beet soup, and peanut butter bars. To top things off, we also got an awesome gift bag with bacon cheddar cheese from Cabot, white acai tea from Argo Tea, and Bajan Seasoning from Savory Spice Shop.
Roasted Beet Pesto (Yields about 1 1/2 cups)
– 2 medium sized beets, peeled and cut into cubes (about 1.5 cups worth)
– 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– ½ cup walnuts, roasted
– ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
– ½ cup olive oil
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and scrub the beets and pat dry. Chop into half-inch cubes, place the cubes on a sheet of foil, and fold over the foil to make a packet.
3. Place the packet on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven for 50 minutes, or until beets are soft and juices are seeping out.
4. Allow beets to cool completely.
5. Add the cooled beets, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, and lemon juice to a food processor or blender and pulse several times.
6. Leaving the food processor (or blender) running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are well combined. If the pesto is too thick to blend, add a little bit of water until you are able to blend it completely.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.