Get a head start on your spring/summer meal planning with this week’s beetroot pesto recipe and an accompanying rye bread with sourdough recipe. Fashion designer Rigetta Klint shared two of her favorite recipes with us because they embody both her love of simple yet flavorful foods and her Nordic heritage. Because cooked beets freeze well, you can double this recipe and keep half of it in the freezer in one jar or frozen first in an ice tray for mini-portions, then kept in a sealed container. You might also try one of the other pesto recipes we’ve featured on In The Kitchen With like sage pesto, pistou or basil pesto. I always have a variety of pestos and other quick-thawing foods in the freezer that I can take out in the morning for an easy lunch or supper later in the day! — Kristina
About Rigetta: Danish-born Stockholm-based designer Rigetta Klint is founder and creative manager of the virtual department store SLOWFASHIONhouse.com. Rigetta Klint carefully selects the brands and products based on her vision. The SLOWFASHIONhouse presents a collection of items ranging from perfectly scented perfumes to clothing and furniture. You can follow Rigetta Klint’s daily inspiration and ideas on fashion, design and slow life through her newsletter.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
- 1 pound beets, cooked and peeled
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 ounces almonds
- 2 ounces grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Note: If you prefer a sweeter taste, scrub and trim the tops from the beets and roast them in a foil-covered pan at 400ºF/200ºC until fork tender, about 1 hour.
1. Roughly chop the beets and run them in a food processor or blender with the garlic, almonds, grated parmesan and sea salt.
2. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil. Keep and serve refrigerated.
3. Use beetroot pesto exactly as you would use traditional pesto: over roasted vegetables, with pasta, in risotto, or even better, serve with home-baked rye bread.
I got this recipe from my dear friend Katrine Klinken’s cookbook Danish Open, a small masterpiece of traditional cooking renovated and set in a modern context.
Note from Kristina: In an attempt to translate the measurements into imperial measures, you will notice a lot of odd-looking numbers in the recipe below. For best results, I suggest using a scale and liquid measuring cup with metric units.
Rye Bread (with Sourdough)
For the Sourdough:
- 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) ymer or other soured whole milk product (yogurt must be diluted with water)
- 1 + 1/5 cup (1.5 dl) water
- 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) coarse organic rye flour, freshly ground if possible
- 1 + 1/5 cup (1.5 dl) standard organic rye flour, freshly ground if possible
- 1/5 ounce (5 g) yeast
- 2 tbsp. sea salt
1. Mix all ingredients and leave for 24 hours at room temperature or for five days in the refrigerator.
2. Sourdough will keep for one week in the refrigerator and can be frozen. If the sourdough doesn’t seem active enough, 1/5 to 2/5 ounce (5–10 g) of yeast may be added to the dough on day 1.
For the Rye Bread Dough:
- 1 portion sourdough, approx. 1/2 quart (1/2 litre)
- 1 quart (1 litre) water or dark beer
- 1/2 tbsp. coarse salt (but not first time the sourdough is used)
- approx. 2.5 lb (1.2 kg) organic rye flour (for grainy rye bread, use 50% cut rye grains)
- 1 tbsp. butter in 1/5 cup (1/2 dl) warm water
Day 1: Mix sourdough with water, salt and 1 and 3/4 pounds (750 g) rye flour. Keep 1/2-quart (1/2-litre) dough for the next sourdough, sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp. salt and refrigerate. Put the rest of the rye bread dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Day 2: Mix the rest of the rye flour thoroughly into the dough. Put the dough in a 4.4-lb (2-litre) bread tin, filling it 2/3. Prove for a couple of hours until the dough reaches the top of the tin. Bake at 175°C/350°F for approximately two hours. A meat thermometer inserted in the middle should register at least 98°C/208°F. Brush the loaf with a butter/water mixture and cool on a cooling tray. It tastes best the following day. Rye bread keeps best in the refrigerator.
Photography by Kristina Gill. Natural-colored towel and blue and white thick-striped towel available through Karin Eriksson; round plate by Sabine Csampai; blue and white dotted napkin from John Lewis; casserole from Mamie Gateaux; oval platter by Astier de Villatte; oak tablet by Andrea Brugi; all other items flea market/eBay finds.
Why Rigetta Chose This Recipe
I love beetroot pesto because it’s colorful, it’s tasteful and it’s easy. It’s a success every time I serve it, and I love success! And I love to cook with cheap, basic ingredients.