© 2018 Green Kitchen Stories ThreeGoodSpreads_1

Bad Jokes and Good Spreads

After having spent 30 minutes listening to my soon eight-year-old daughter telling a joke, I can tell you with 100% certainty that she’s got a talent for comedy. Someone apparently told her this joke in school and she tried explaining it to me repeatedly without ever reaching the pun. It was the funniest thing I’ve heard in years. Especially because she refused to give up and just kept at it. Something about blood dripping in a dark room and an old woman peeling tomatoes (although I think it should be blood orange, but don’t tell her). While I was literally ROFL with her for failing and yet succeeding with her comedy act, I had this revelation that this is it. This is the meaning of it all. As good as it gets. Total presens. Laughing so my tummy hurts together with someone I love unlimitedly.

So here is a suggestion. Whip up a couple of good spreads and dips, fill a tray with veggies, shut off your phone and sit down with someone you love and tell each other jokes tonight – good and bad ones.

These spreads don’t call for neither tomatoes nor blood oranges, but if you make the one with beetroot, your hands will look blood stained nevertheless [Yes! I knew there was a lame pun somewhere in there]. The pink one is a Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread that we like a lot (especially Luise, who adds a couple of dollops on top of scramble eggs for breakfast). It has a beautiful color and an intricate and tangy flavor that balances the beans and the beets. The white one is a yogurt, spinach and feta dip inspired by a Bon Appetite recipe (but simplified) and it was our kids favorite out of these three (the other two were named “not good” and “terrible” by our daughter). The red-ish is my favorite spread of all times, Muhammara. We make ours with roasted bell peppers, walnuts, almond flour, dates, lemon and cayenne. It has that great balance of rich, fresh, tangy, spicy and sweet. You can roast the bell peppers yourself or buy them roasted in a jar. We have tried both versions and even if home-roasted tastes slightly better, it is honestly not a huge difference. And since it’s 40 minutes quicker, I know which one most of you will go for.

That’s it for this week. Beans, nuts, yogurt, blood stains and bad jokes. My perfect Friday night.

/David

ThreeGoodSpreads_2

Three Good Spreads

We served these spreads with a variety of raw veggies, roasted potatoes and bread, but they are also good on sandwiches and as sides to almost any dish. The top photo is inspired by a photo from one of Anna Jones wonderful cookbooks. Check out her books if you haven’t already.

Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread
Note: You can make this with raw beets if you want to save time, it’s also good. Skip or reduce the water if you do. However, you get a rounder flavour when roasting them so that’s our preferred method.

2 beetroots (approx 250 g / 9 oz)
1 x 400 g / 14 oz can white beans, rinsed
120 ml / 1/2 cup hot water
2 tsp ground sumac (or more lemon zest)
2 tbsp tahini 
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
1 pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400°F. Peel and trim the beets and cut in quarters. Place them on a small baking tray with a drizzle of oil and bake until soft, approx. 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference.

 

Muhammara
Note: If you are cooking for kids, leave out the cayenne (and maybe the date as we use it to balance the spiciness in the cayenne). We have shared the easy version here with store bought roasted bell peppers but you can of course roast them yourself.

3 roasted bell peppers (from a jar) (approx 200 g / 1 cup) see note below how to roast them yourself
60 g / 1/2 cup walnuts
45 g / 1/2 cup almond flour
1 soft date, stone removed
2 tbsp tahini or olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 large pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
sea salt flakes

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor and consistency, adding more almond flour to thicken and tahini/oil or lemon to smoothen.

Note: To roast your own bell peppers, simply place them in the oven at 200°C/400°F for 25-30 minutes or until charred. Leave to cool under a bowl (this will make them easier to peel), peel off skin and seeds and add the flesh to the processor with the other ingredients.

 

Spinach, Feta & Mint Yogurt
Adapted from this Bon Appetite recipe.

2 cups Greek or Turkish yogurt
100 g / 3 1/2 oz feta cheese
1 handful walnuts

100 g / 3 1/2 oz baby spinach
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp dried mint or a small handful leaves fresh mint, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour yogurt into a bowl, crumble the feta cheese into it and stir until combined. Dry-toast the walnuts in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes, pour into small bowl and leave to cool. Add a thin layer of water to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Add half of the spinach, stir and keep adding more as the spinach wilts down. Add the mint to the spinach, season with salt, stir and set aside to cool. Add 2/3 of the spinach to the feta yogurt along with half of the olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Crush the walnuts in your hand, sprinkle over the yogurt and stir. Taste and adjust the flavour. Fold the rest of the spinach, walnuts and oil into the yogurt until it looks a little messy and marbled. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

 

PS!
Completely unrelated but we also just posted this sauerkraut video on our youtube channel. If you haven’t tried to make your own sauerkraut yet, you should! It’s super easy, you basically only need cabbage and salt. And it’s so good – tangy, fresh, gut healthy and all that. 

25 Comments

  1. Posted 23 Feb ’18 at 18:18 | #

    The Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread sounds like just my kind of thing. I’ve never actually tried sumac so it’d be interesting to give it a go! Thank you for the wonderful recipes, as always! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Posted 23 Feb ’18 at 21:17 | #

    oh man all these look amazing! I recently found out I’m allergic to beetroot, otherwise would LOVE that one. Do you have any ingredient alternatives for beetroot?

    • Posted 23 Feb ’18 at 21:39 | #

      Hi Supal, I never heard of anyone being allergic to beetroot before. That’s tough. You can use sweet potato or pumpkin instead. It will obviously be a different flavor and color. But very good!
      /David

  3. Posted 23 Feb ’18 at 22:04 | #

    The Muhammara sounds like something I’d absolutely love! I read these all to my husband who ranked the Muhammara as his #1 too so I may whip it up for this weekend.

  4. Posted 23 Feb ’18 at 23:24 | #

    Oh my gosh, the beet bean spread and the muhammara look absolutely beautiful. I would definitely NOT pass on the cayenne when making the muhammara spread! Love my spice!

  5. Jennifer L
    Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 01:54 | #

    How long do you let the sauerkraut sit? A week? I love the apple and fennel additions! I love your videos. When my toddler son wakes up early from a nap crying, sometimes he’ll fall back to sleep in my arms and I have forced free time to indulge catching up on your latest videos :-) Definitely better than reading the news!

    • Jennifer L.
      Posted 26 Feb ’18 at 02:38 | #

      Oops, I just watched the video again–2-3 weeks for fermentation for the sauerkraut.

  6. Emma
    Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 06:40 | #

    loved reading this! funny funny story and fantastic photos. so colorful. want to try the beet version.

  7. Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 08:12 | #

    Food is one of the best way to gather around and a perfect food can sort out all the differences. Hope i will also enjoy this dish with my loved ones. Thanks for sharing your lovely story.

  8. Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 08:21 | #

    David, you just made me cry… Thank you! What a way of introducing a blog post on food… I’m going upstairs right now and cuddle with my son’s, and will be back to do the spreads later on :) Big, huge hug!Sending love, Sofia

  9. Stef
    Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 09:18 | #

    Oh, perfect!!! I’m sure this will do for a gorgeous Saturday night as well. Will definitely try tonight. One question regarding your beautiful sauerkraut video, please: Do you really let it sit for up to two weeks at room temperature and with an airtight lid on? I just gave your Golden Kraut a (very promising) go, but already after a few days, there was so much pressure inside that I didn’t dare to leave it on the counter unattended any longer… Or do I have to “burp” the glasses regularly? How do you do it?? All my best! Stef

  10. Megan
    Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 09:43 | #

    Hello!

    Do these store well? If so, how long in the fridge?

    Thanks!

  11. Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 15:26 | #

    These look so delicious!

  12. Gabi
    Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 18:55 | #

    Today I tried making Muhammara spread and it was DELICIOUS! Such an unexpected flavour that melts in your mouth! Now I use spooooooooons on my roasted veggies balls, spoooons I tell you! Thank you xx

  13. Posted 24 Feb ’18 at 20:57 | #

    Dear David & Luise, just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your recipes, writing and parenting for that matter. I’ve been browsing through all you recipes for the past few days and I can confidently say, I love every single one of them.

  14. Posted 25 Feb ’18 at 18:10 | #

    We are a big dip family and all three of these look like delicious variations on other types we’ve tried. I especially like the sound of Beet, Bean and Sumac. How creative Elsa is to try it on eggs, and no sound is more contagious than a good belly laugh!

  15. Posted 25 Feb ’18 at 19:07 | #

    I made both the Muhammara and the beetroot-bean-spread today. Awesome yummy! I love these little culinary inspirations of yours, keep them coming <3

    An avid reader, musician, traveller and cook!

  16. Marie Frank
    Posted 27 Feb ’18 at 15:42 | #

    I would love to print many of your recipes, but there is no “printer friendly” version. Printing out 20 pages is wasteful! Would you consider creating a “printer friendly” tab?

    Thank you!

  17. Posted 28 Feb ’18 at 21:21 | #

    I tried to make Muhammara and Spinach Feta &Mint Yoghurt spread this weekend. I must say both of them are amazing! Even my kids, which are picky eaters loved it. For Beet, Bean & Sumac Spread, does it matter what type of white beans do I use?

  18. Posted 1 Mar ’18 at 20:41 | #

    What a moving account about love. Really encompasses all. The complexities of it, the unexpectedness, the beauty.

  19. Posted 1 Mar ’18 at 22:57 | #

    oh it is look very perfect and looks pretty healthy.Let’s pay attention to the foods we eat.
    rejoice if you follow me to lose weight

    Thank You.

  20. Julie
    Posted 2 Mar ’18 at 20:24 | #

    Wow – have been searching for a recipe for Muhammara since I had it at a Seattle restaurant months ago. It’s spectacular! Thank you. I could live off this + fresh veggies to dip in it. Love your stories, recipes, photos and books.

  21. Posted 5 Mar ’18 at 02:11 | #

    three good spread looks really yummy and healthy, You know the saying ” killing 3 birds with one stone” I’ll add this to my list thank you for sharing

  22. Posted 15 Mar ’18 at 03:48 | #

    The Spinach, Feta & Mint Yogurt looks really interesting as I’ve never tried a salt food with yogurt. Cannot wait to try it asap :)

    btw, your daughter is so adorable xD

  23. Posted 23 May ’18 at 06:28 | #

    Very beautiful and very sincere! Photos perfectly convey the atmosphere and mood of the dish!

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