Saturday, January 15, 2011

January Spice Rack Challenge: Rosemary

I had so much fun with the Can Jam last year that when I heard of the Spice Rack Challenge I signed up right away. And then promptly forgot about it until I read about it again on today's post by Tigress. Then I got in a panic and thought the deadline to post my recipe was today, which it it isn't ( that would be a different challenge - more on that later).

In any case I should probably mention that the Spice Rack Challenge is the brain child of "Mom" at Mother's Kitchen and, like it sounds, the idea is to cook with a specified herb or spice every month and blog about it. I regularly use a lot of different spices in my cooking and this sounded like a simple project to write about. The focus ingredient for this month is rosemary which I use lots of, and I overwinter my rosemary plant every year so I have a constant fresh source. Problem was since I hadn't been thinking of it, I didn't have the rest of the ingredients on hand for the recipe I'd planned on. So I did like any sensible person- I googled rosemary recipes! Lucky for me, one of the first recipes to pop up was a very simple dish that required only a couple ingredients, all of which I had. It's not a dish I would have normally chosen, mainly because of it's simplicity but I thought it would do well in a pinch. To my surprise it was absolutely fantastic and that fact that it turned out so well has given me the idea to make the Spice Rack Challenge even more challenging. I've decided that from here out I'm not going to fall back on my tried-and-true recipes for this project; instead I'm going to find a new (to me) recipe for each ingredient. After all if the point of the exercise is to learn something, it only makes sense to try new things.

Beet Roesti with Rosemary

From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1 to 1-1/2 pounds beets
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons butter

Trim the beets and grate them in a food processor or by hand. I think this recipe would be a great one for yellow beets as well. (I love yellow beets but as gorgeous as they are when fresh, yellow beets do not make a very attractive pickle.)

Begin preheating a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium heat. I used my cast iron pan but I had a little difficulty getting it out intact so maybe non stick is better if you use one.

Toss the grated beets in a bowl with the rosemary and salt, then add about half the flour; toss well, add the rest of the flour, then toss again.

Place the butter in the skillet and heat until it begins to turn brown. Scrape the beet mixture into the skillet, shape it into a nice circle, and press it down with a spatula. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the bottom of the beet cake is nicely crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.

Slide the cake out onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and slide the cake back into the pan. Continue to cook, until the second side is browned. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

It was amazingly delicious! Crispy outside just like potato roesti, it had a nutty, slightly sweet taste that worked very well with the rosemary. I served it with a dollup of sour cream on top and we had it for breakfast along with potato pancakes and poached eggs. I also tried a bit with some horseradish mayo and that was even more spectacular!

I think I'm going to like this challenge. If you think you might as well, it's not too late to sign up! You have until this Friday, January 21 to register.


  1. Ok, you have convinced me - I'm signing up, this sounds delish and I would NEVER have tried it. Based on your feedback I think I will not only try this dish but try the spice rack challenge. I loved the canjam.

  2. That's great Daisy! Looking forward to reading your recipes!

  3. I honestly believe there aren't enough beet recipes out there. Beets never get enough love. I'm happy to have one more recipe. I bet this would be good with a little orange zest added to it.

  4. I love beets too! Roasted with balsamic and olive oil, grated raw into salads, and of course pickled!

  5. Gotta try this! Sounds and looks amazing. Thanks for a unique recipe.

  6. I've never been a huge fan of beets (too many canned beets in my childhood I guess), but lately I've been thinking I should give them another try, and this recipe sounds amazing. I'm going to pick some beets up ASAP!

  7. Left to my own, I probably wouldn't have thought of anything like a Beet Roesti, even though I love beets anyway I can get them. I'm dieing to try it.

  8. looks tasty and simple to make! i dont eat enough non pickled beets (because pickled beets are the bees knees of course!) but this i gotta try! thanks for posting!