Today, our friend Nancy Rose Eisman has penned a wonderful guest post (we actually bumped into her at Michael Natkin’s book launch back in April). Given that she’s an avid vegetarian, we wanted to share her thoughts (and a super creative recipe based) on Michael’s book, Herbivoracious.
For those of you who don’t know Nancy, she writes a fun vegetarian blog, Adventures with Nancy Rose. By day, she supports the marketing efforts at Melissa’s / World Variety Produce Inc. Thanks and take it away Nancy Rose!
Thanks Johanna, for letting me guest post during the Herbivoracious giveaway! and for sending me on a fun low-sodium adventure.
I think the recipes in Herbivoracious inspire people to use the best ingredients – and in doing so, you won’t even notice that you’ve put the salt shaker away! Michael Natkin’s recipes are simple, flavorful, and easily adaptable for a low-sodium diet.
To me, the perfect recipe for a low-sodium makeover was the Roasted Cipollini Onions and Beets (page 258). All I had to do was eliminate the 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in the original version to make the dish a low-sodium one. I also like to replace white sugar when I easily can, so I swapped out the white for light brown. Another liberty I took was to use Melissa’s Baby Beets, peeled & steamed and ready to eat, maximizing the convenience factor and minimizing the mess of cooking and peeling whole beets. The results were delicious! These small recipe modifications proved that by choosing easy to use ingredients packed with flavor, the use of [additional] salt in cooking is often unnecessary.
Herbivoracious author Michael Natkin’s serving suggestions for the Roasted Cipollini Onions and Beets are as a simple side dish, as a garnish on a plate of couscous, or with sharp tasting greens like escarole.
However, on the forefront of my mind was what to bring as a snack for tonight’s Mystery Book Club meeting (if you know me, you know I love twofers). Inspired by the slightly sweet-and-sour flavors in Michaels’ Roasted Cipollini Onions and Beets recipe and thinking about this month’s book “The Snowman” by Jo Nesbo (set in Norway), an idea came to me: make a platter of smorrebrod, the iconic Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches!
…and here it is:
Smorrebrod Recipe – a la Herbivoracious!
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Melissa’s Baby Beets, cubed
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Melissa’s Cipolline Onions, peeled and cubed*
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. light brown sugar
fresh ground black pepper
pumpernickel bread, sliced 1/3” thick
¼ cup cream style horseradish
¼ cup whipped cream cheese
pea shoot leaves for garnish
minced carrots for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (the original recipe has the oven at 400 but my oven runs hot).
Blanch the cipolline onions in boiling water about 3-4 minutes, drain and place in cold water.
Peel and cube.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the cubed beets and onions and toss with the olive oil. Whisk together the vinegar, light brown sugar, and several grinds of black pepper, then pour over the beets and onions, and toss again.
Roast, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are completely tender and caramelized in spots, about 45 minutes.
Cut the pumpernickel bread slices into the shape of your choice. Mix the horseradish and cream cheese together until well blended, then spread a bit on each piece of bread. Place some of the beet/onion mixture on top, then garnish with pea shoot leaves, minced carrots, or whatever.
Nancy, the pleasure was entirely ours! Thanks for taking us on a fun low-sodium adventure and for teaching us about smorrebrods – yours look simply delicious!
P.S – You can also find more of Nancy Rose’s creativity on our blog. This past summer, she guest posted and inspired our Greek Salad With Marinated Tofu “Feta” recipe.
Note: Nancy’s modifications (i.e., smorrebrod) appear in italics. Michael’s original, Roasted Cipollini Onions and Beets Recipe, ingredients appear below in normal font.