Father’s Day and beetroot and cashew dip

My big guys were with their father for father’s day so lunch at mum and dad’s was a totally non failsafe affair. Nothing had to be Griffin friendly which made my job of choosing a soup to make very difficult indeed. What does one do when faced with such a plethora of choices? Mum was cooking a roast leg of lamb with veggies and my brother and his missus were bringing dessert, which I just knew would be chocolate mud cake, so I wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary. I agonised for days and lost sleep at night trying to decide then finally, one night, with just 2 days to spare, I had an epiphany! I was going to make a Middle Eastern inspired, roasted sweet potato soup, garnished with coriander and perfectly toasted pine nuts. I had no recipe, nor had I ever made it before…this was going to be ground breaking soup!
Father’s day morning, I was up and at it bright and early, cooking by 9.30. Fortunately my other half doesn’t eat breakfast and our little fella is too young to insist on soggy toast for either of us on mum’s or dad’s days so I was free to get creative. As the spice coated sweet potato was roasting away I had the dreadful thought that this soup was possibly going to taste quite awful…had I achieved the correct balance of spices? Was it going to be spicy enough? Was it going to be too spicy and blow everyone’s head off? Were the spices going to taste burnt? I soldiered on anyway, deciding that if it tasted bad I’d just pop up to the supermarket and put together a cheese platter instead. Everything finally made it into the pot and I hadn’t bought enough stock…it was looking so thick, but fortunately I had just made a huge batch of failsafe stock the day before so was able to add some of that but of course, I then worried that others would find that stock wishy washy and flavourless as they would all be used to the commercial variety.

“Mmmm, that smells fantastic!” were the words I heard from the sitting room. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had tasted it earlier but with my screwed up pregnancy taste buds I wasn’t convinced that it tasted any good at all, but I pressed on. Perhaps it was just me, afterall, I have been ridiculously fussy with food of late and have been struck down with the dreadful affliction that wine tastes like poison and coffee like cow manure!

Well, it was a raging success with everyone raving about my soup….pity I didn’t measure out my ingredients or write any of it down because I even enjoyed it immensely and want to make it again 😦

So now to the beets. Mum cooked up a tray of roasted beetroot but only 2 beets were eaten so during the lunch clean up, she went to throw them all out. “STOP! What did you cook them in?” I found myself almost screaming. “Just canola oil”…”Anything else?”…”No, just the oil”….”Fantastic! I’ll take them home and make a dip out of them for the boys”

They sat in my fridge for 2 days…I had forgotten about them. Tuesday (yesterday) I had kept my middle guy home because we needed some quality time together after an arduous day in the family courts on Monday and my big guy was on school camp. Poor Griff was really feeling a little, shall we say exhausted and sad. We decided that since it was such a beautiful spring day, we’d go to the local park (which, mind you, is more like a bit of bushland in the middle of suburbia with walking tracks, a playground, wetlands, wildlife and is just stunning) for a picnic. I remembered the beets and decided some fresh dip with rice crackers would be perfect for our adventure.

Of course I didn’t get a photo as it all disappeared so fast!

1/2 cup of raw cashews

About 6 beets (not baby ones), roasted and skin removed

1 clove of garlic, crushed (I had run out of fresh garlic so used half a teaspoon of garlic powder)

1/2 tsp of citric acid

1 tsp of salt

Few tbsps of canola oil

1 tbsp of water

Place the cashews in a food processor and process until chopped. Add the remaining ingredients with the water and a bit of oil and process until smooth. Add more oil as required to achieve a smooth consistency. If lemon juice is tolerated, ad a squeeze of that instead of the water and citric acid.

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