Simple pleasures

Tag: goat cheese


by tableofcolors

As the season turns from one of brights yellows, reds and oranges the colors fade towards shades of grays, browns, and purples. Even my yellow mums turned purple as the cold nights arrived. The autumn here was a beautiful one, with quite little rain making for vibrant colors. Sometimes the fall rains arrive very early and it seems like the dark season before the arrival of snow is a long time and even a bit dreary. When the rains arrive early even the trees seem to match the mood and turn into earthy brownish tones. In some ways the darkness can be a relief. No need to be effiecient for sixteen hours a day since even the finger prints on the glass seem to hide. Just let the darkness envelope the house and light the candles and lanterns outside.
purple chrysanthemums
But this fall we have been lucky with an abundance of sunny days. It is not until just recently that the rains have arrived and it won’t be long until the first real snow fall. The photo below is of the field behind our house full of the purplish red clover. This was taken in October, but since then the field is still green but the flowers have become dots of brown and black.
red clovers
Even my favorite local coffee shop, Kahvila Ilo, has a fall-inspired salad on their menu. Marinated beetroot salad with fresh wild mushrooms from the forest.
2013-09-27 15.30.30
The red beets and the roasted carrots that I had made earlier were a source of inspiration and so for dinner one night we had my take on the traditional Lindströminpihvi, which is basically a ground beef patty that has grated beetroot in it giving it a purplish hue. There are a couple of different stories of the origin of the patty but in both versions it comes from Sweden.
lindströmin pihvi

My version of the Lindström patty

1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 red beet, finely grated
400 g/14 oz ground beef
1 egg
1 dl/ 1/2 c bread crumbs ( I used fine rye crumbs that are available here but regular work just as well)
1/2 dl/ 1/2 c Greek yoghurt

Combine all of the above ingredients and form into small patties. Evenly space the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 C/390 F.

Beetroot chips

Slice beetroots very finely and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with honey and olive oil and sprinkle with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 C/390 F. Our family went through two pans. The bag of beetroot that I had bought at the grocery happened to have very small beetroot. Usually they are larger in size. Serve the Lindström patties with the roasted beetroot and goat cheese.
2013-09-24 14.59.07


Arugula, roasted beets and goat cheese on a rosemary seasalt olive oil bagel

by tableofcolors

Usually the best ideas come from others, as is the case with this Arugula (rucola), roasted beet and goat cheese bagel. I received an email from a reader suggesting this combination. Last week I gave it a try and it was delicious in my opinion.
Since it is hard to find quality bagels here in Finland, I made my own. I googled the history of bagels and found out that there are several different versions from different regions. The version that I made is the American style brought over by the Polish Jews at the turn of the century. The bagel is made from a wheat dough with yeast. It is boiled in salt water for a short time before baking. This gives it a chewy crust and soft inside. My kids are eager taste-testers. Whenever I make these, they disappear before my eyes. I also learned that the original bagels that the Polish Jews made in New York City were not perfect circles since they were all made by hand. This made me feel better since mine were not perfectly uniform either.

Bagels in salt water. Boil them for thirty seconds a side.

I sprinkled my bagels with seasalt and rosemary before they went into the oven and gave them a little drizzle of olive oil after they came out.

The next step was to oven roast the beets. This can be done well in advance. Refrigerate and used as needed. These roasted beets are so good that they would be a great addition to a salad or a side for dinner.
Peel the beets, cut into thin slices and lay flat on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 200C/390F.

Sliced beets

Baked beets

Cut the bagels into half. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottoms and sprinkle them with fresh rosemary and pepper.

Sliced bagels

Fill the bagels with goat cheese (I alternated using goat cheese and Manchego cheese (a hard cheese made from lamb’s milk), roasted beets, and arugula(rucola). Garnish the bagels with a little drizzle of olive oil and rosemary.


If you an idea that you would like me to try or a recipe that you are struggling with, leave a comment below or send me an email.

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