This dinner didn’t really go together, but each part worked and was delicious, so we’ll do this a little differently tonight!
Part 1 – Summer Borscht
I love borscht. Which, I suppose, shouldn’t be too surprising based on my undying love for beets. When I was puppysitting for my in-laws last week, I got to watch some TV (my husband and I don’t have one) and tuned in to the Food Network, one of my favorites. Ina Garten was making a summer borscht and I couldn’t wait to try it once I got more beets.
This made an amazing meal and was even better the next day for lunch. Plus, it just kept getting more and more pink, which is always fun!
Cold Summer Borscht (adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)
4 medium beets, cleaned with the tops cut off
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup beet cooking liquid
8 ounces low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
1 cup English cucumber
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon dried dill
Salt and pepper
First, cook the beets in a medium pot of salted water and boil, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Place beets in a bowl of cold water to cool and set aside 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to cool.
While the beets are cooking, whisk together the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper (about 1 teaspoon), and the dill in a large bowl. Put the bowl in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.
Seed and chop the cucumber (about 1/2 an English cucumber).
Peel and chop the beets into small cubes. Add the beets, green onions, and cucumbers to the soup and put back into the fridge for at least 2 hours, the more the better.
This is what the soup looked like at first…just a hint of pink.
Part 2 – A New Take On Zucchini Bread
Zucchini is the bumper crop right now and I’ve been doing everything I can to use it up. I love zucchini bread, but wanted to try something a bit more savory. I found this great recipe for a whole-wheat zucchini bread-maker bread. It came out delicious and ended up being a perfect compliment to the borscht.
Whole Wheat Zucchini Herb Bread
adapted from a recipe by Barb Gertz
(Makes a 2 lb loaf)
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
Add these ingredients in the order recommended by your breadmaker and bake it on the Whole Wheat setting. Make sure you do NOT drain the zucchini like you might for other baking situations…it’s important to have the moisture.
This was particularly good toasted with a bit of butter
Part 3 – Deep Dish Peach Pie
Now, deep dish peach pie is one of my family’s favorites and this was my first attempt at this super easy and delicious summer dessert. This recipe is one I’ve wanted to share for the while, but the photos, well, they’re to show you that I am not ashamed of my kitchen foibles. Okay, well maybe I’m a little ashamed, but I’ll share them anyway.
I burnt this! My husband affectionally referred to this as the “Pie of Mordor”. It was bubbling and looking very sinister when it first came out of the oven…like molten lava! Oops!
Deep Dish Peach Pie
(My mother’s recipe)
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 large can of peaches in heavy syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix first four ingredients in a deep casserole dish. Pour the can of peaches over the mixture with the syrup included and do NOT stir. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake for about 1 hour (or maybe less if my Pie of Mordor is any indication). Delicious served with vanilla ice cream!
Yes, we ate it anyway. What? It’s dessert!