Besides the beets, you’ll need extra-virgin olive oil, plain yogurt, garlic, fine sea salt, fresh dill, both lime juice and zest and black pepper. The recipe calls for cooking the beets in a pressure cooker, which I have. For those of you with an InstaPot, consult the directions for cooking. I cut my large beet into 1-inch size slices and cooked per my manual’s instructions. While that was cooking, I prepared the yogurt dressing that used yogurt, garlic and lime zest.
Once the beets were cooked and cooled, I tossed them with olive oil, lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper. Each person drizzled the yogurt dressing over the beets on their own for a very tasty and refreshing summer side dish.
My daughter celebrated a birthday while staying with us. The past few years I made her Gateau de Crepes, a recipe from The New York Times, May 2005. This year she selected a recipe from the website www.smittenkitchen.com for Strawberry Summer Cake. This very easy and delicious recipe can be made either as sheet cake or in a springform pan, which is what I choose.
For the recipe you’ll need unsalted butter, flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, an egg, milk, vanilla extract and 1 pound of strawberries. The strawberries are placed in top of the batter before baking. The only adjustment I made to the recipe was to use one tablespoon of granulated sugar, instead of 2. As it is strawberry season, I didn’t think the berries would need much additional sugar.
The cake came out beautiful. In fact, a relative has also made it based on my Instagram post. We topped the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to really send this dessert over the top. Right now, New Jersey blueberries are coming into season. I might give this recipe a try with them.
Beets with Dill, Lime, and Yogurt
MELISSA CLARK DECEMBER 2017 DINNER IN AN INSTANT
Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 1 hour
6 medium beets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Strawberry Summer Cake
From the website www.smittenkitchen.com
Servings: 8 to 10
Adapted, only slightly, from Martha Stewart
I recently picked up some barley flour and fell in love with it. We tend to associate whole grain flours with heartiness and heaviness, but this is neither — it’s silky and delicate, like the best cake flour you’ve ever bought, and it has a subtle creamy, nuttiness to it that goes fantastically with berries. This cake works like a dream with 100% all-purpose flour but if you’ve got barley flour around, swapping it in for half the volume is beyond delicious, adding a real depth to a deceptively simple cake.
I am ever-so-slightly on the fence about the sweetness of this cake. I like it, but I wouldn’t hate the batter itself with 2 tablespoons less sugar (i.e. 7/8 cup sugar instead of a whole one). If that’s your inclination, go ahead and dial it back as well. Leave the sugar on top. It contributes to the berries turning into jam.
Note from Deb Perleman: In 2019, I added a sheet cake version of this to the site.
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (can swap 3/4 cup or 94 grams all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake.
Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.
Do ahead: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered, but good luck with that.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.