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Roasted Beets with Chimichurri Sauce

roasted beets with chimichurri sauce

I know this comes a bit late, but lets talk about Mother’s Day.  Was it nice?  Did you spend quality time with your children?  What about your mother?

My Mother’s Day was especially special.  It was the first year that my husband gave our daughter money and turned her loose in a store to choose a gift without any guidance from him (she chose thoughtfully:  two books and a set of unique measuring cups) and we went out for dinner.

Even though many folks choose to go out for dinner or brunch on Mother’s Day, we usually order in just for that reason.  We aren’t crowd people.  We like to take it quiet and easy (most of the time).  Ordering in-either sushi or good Italian from the pasta kitchen up the street-just makes sense to us on holidays where restaurants are bustling.

Until this year.

Because we are busy (as are most families) we often don’t get to have a sit-down dinner.  Meetings run late.  School activities interfere.  The few times a week we do get to break bread together are often rushed.  That is the crux of why I enjoy eating out as a family:  I’m not rushing around to get everything on the table and they are…well, they are a captive audience.  No excusing themselves from the table as soon as they are finished to get back to whatever they need or want to do.

I made a reservation at one of our new favorite places to eat in north Baltimore, the Shoo-Fly Diner.  Shoo-Fly is the retro diner creation of James Beard nominee Spike Gjede, owner of the much-acclaimed (and arguably best restaurant in Baltimore) Woodberry Kitchen, as well as Artifact Coffee.  Of course, I waited until about two weeks before Mother’s Day to make the reservation, so I had to settle for a 4 pm time slot.  It worked to our advantage, before the dinner rush and leaving enough time in the early evening to enjoy the sunset back home on the patio.

Everything on the menu looked amazing and we had a hard time deciding.  We finally settled on several appetizers and the beet side-dish, which was highly recommended by the waitstaff.


People have very extreme opinions about them.  I often see them in the trade box at the CSA pick-up and I am the only one in my family who likes them.  So I ordered them.  And they were amazing.  Like…stole-the-show amazing.  The “secret”, the waitress said, was the chimichurri sauce.  I took the rest home and ate them for breakfast the next day out of the carton with a fork standing at the refrigerator.

I mean, isn’t that the highest compliment you can pay to food?

Chimicurri sauce, which is sometimes made with parsley, sometimes cilantro, or both, is quiet versatile.  It can be eaten with all kinds of meat, seafood, or vegetables.  You can even top eggs with it.  It can be used right away, but turns into a real beauty when made a day ahead allowing the flavors to build.

Roasted Beets with Chimichurri Sauce


  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 medium-sized beets (a mixture of golden and red, if you prefer)
  • 2-3 radishes, finely chopped

Roast the beets:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash beets and cut off roots and stems

Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast in preheated oven 50-60 minutes or until you can easily slide a thin knife into them.

Let beets cool slightly and carefully slide the skins off. Cut into 1-1/2" chunks.

Make the chimichurri sauce:

Warm the olive oil in a small skillet on low heat. As soon as it starts to simmer, remove skillet and add the garlic and the herbs. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the cilantro and parsley in a food processor and pulse a couple of times, just enough to mince them. You don't want to pulverize them.

Place the mixture in a bowl and add the olive oil with herbs. Stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top roasted beets with chimichurri sauce (you may not use it all).

Add chopped radishes.





pot pie

Did you miss me last week?  Don’t think I was being lazy, or even out partying it up…no, I’ve been a bit under the weather.  It’s great when you’ve prepared for times such as these by making a few freezer meals to fall back on (it beats always having eggs, pancakes or grilled cheese in a pinch).

This recipe is adapted from my daughter’s recipe.  Usually it’s made with poached chicken breast, but I happened to have a delicious fully cooked smoked turkey breast on hand.  Also, you can change up the vegetables depending on what you have on hand.  Got wild Mushrooms?  Then use them.  Parsnips?  Lovely.  I need to be mindful about what I add, lest it get picked out and pushed to the side of someone’s plate.

The bottom crust is homemade from my favorite Martha Stewart recipe for pate brisee, but you can use any crust recipe.

pot pie (makes 2 pies)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 carrots, diced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 cups whole milk

10 ounces frozen peas

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

2 9-inch pie crusts, rolled out and placed in pans

1 box puff pastry

sea salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees (if planning to bake immediately).

 Poach chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool and then shred.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes (don’t let them darken).  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and continue to cook while stirring for 1 minute.

Add chicken stock and cook about 1-2 minutes.  Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Transfer equal parts to prepared pie pans.

Lay the puff pastry on top, pressing around edges to seal.  Flute crust, if desired. If cooking immediately, cut several vents in the crust.  Place pot pies on baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30-35 minutes.

If freezing, wrap tightly with foil or double plastic wrap.


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