Growing up, my mom had an ancient copy of the original NY Times Cookbook lodged imposingly on the bookshelf. I'm not sure she ever opened it. It was about 3" thick, with brittle pages packed with tiny font and perplexing illustrations. No photographs. No charming headnotes. Just hundreds of old-school recipes that evoked Mad Men-era dinner parties in tony Upper East Side apartments.
I must have read that thing cover to cover.
There were a few recurring ingredients and themes that totally intrigued me. First off, the aspics. Savory Jello in amazing shapes? Sold. Also, the crown roasts. Little paper hats for my lamb? Yes, please. And finally, horseradish. There seemed to be horseradish cream on EVERYTHING. Later in my life, with extra spicy Bloody Marys replacing pancakes as a cherished Sunday morning tradition, horseradish still has a hold on me.
Today's recipe is an update to a classic NY Times relic - beets with horseradish cream. Gorgeous golden beets and yogurt replace standard purple beets and sour cream. Spend a little time arranging the dish on a beautiful platter and you have the perfect starter, from Thanksgiving to your Mad Men season premiere party.
Roasted Beets with Horseradish Yogurt
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 15 min, plus cooling time
6 small beets (golden or Chiogga)
2 Tbs champagne vinegar
1/4 cup / 60 mL olive oil
1/2 tsp toasted ground coriander seeds
1 shallot, minced
6 oz / 175 mL plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs prepared horseradish (or more to taste)
2 Tbs minced parsley or cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 400F / 200C. Rinse beets, then place in a roasting pan. Season with salt. Add just enough water to cover the bottom and a splash of olive oil. Cover pan tightly with foil, then roast, about 45 minutes to an hour, til center of beet is tender when pierced with a knife. Remove foil and let cool.
Meanwhile, make marinade. Mix together olive oil, vinegar and minced shallot and season with salt and pepper.
Peel beets by rubbing off skins with a dishtowel or with a sharp paring knife. Cut beets in half, then into wedges (you should get 6-8 wedges per beet). Combine beets with marinade and set aside for about an hour. Refrigerate if you are making the beets in advance.
While beets are marinating, mix together yogurt, horseradish and a 1/2 tsp salt.
Smear a layer of yogurt sauce onto a platter, then arrange beets on top. Garnish with parsley and serve at room temperature.