Roasted Beet Pesto

via The Dallas Organic Garden Club Blog by Allison Liddell on 1/23/11

Here's a great recipe I just tried for Roasted Beet Pesto. It is from a website called "A Veggie Venture", which has many great vegetable recipes. I modifed the recipe a little.

1 lb roasted mixed-color beets (roast on sheet pan at 375 for about 45 min depending on size)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 c sunflower or walnuts, toasted
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in the food processor until it reaches desired consistency, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some crumbled feta. Serve with fresh vegetables, pita or on crostini.

Extra note: If you grew your own or bought the beets with the greens intact (the rainbow ones are really nice at Whole Foods), the greens are terrific just cooked in a little broth with garlic and olive oil.

Composting Basics

Composting is like cooking, with many variations and recipes. Here is the basic approach:

All composting "ingredients" generally fall under one of two categories - "browns" or "greens."  Browns are dry materials such as wood chips, dried leaves, dried grass and other plants.  Greens are fresh, moist materials such as grass cuttings and food scraps (avoid meats, fats and grease.)

1.  Collect as much browns and greens as you can to start your compost pile.  An optimal size is about 3'-4' square.  Larger piles tend to hold moisture better and decompose faster.

2.  Place equal amounts of browns and greens in a heap or bin.  Always cover food scraps with others composting materials.

3.  Soak with water to create uniform dampness (damp as a wrung-out sponge.)  Cover pile with tarp or other material to keep moisture in and prevent over soaking from rain.

For quicker composting (1-3 months)

-  Chop materials into smaller pieces

-  Alternate 3" to 6" layers of greens and browns

-  Mix the pile by turning and stirring every 10 days

For slower composting (3-6 months)

-  Just keep adding materials to the pile or bin - it's that simple!