If you roast some beets ahead of time, this is a simple and very good appetizer. We roasted medium-small beets in the oven, at 400 °F for 90–120 minutes, wrapped in aluminum foil. We removed them and sliced them, and served roasted beet slices on bread, either with farmers’ market goat cheese, or with a small dollop of creamy horseradish; both were great pairings. We also had caviar, so we put caviar (salmon roe) on buttered bread, Russian-style. The butter balances salmon roe nicely. Next time, we’ll see if we can use Russian black bread!
We invited some friends over for borscht, so we had to think of some dishes to go with it—and we thought Russian. We prepared deviled eggs, salad olivier, and hot borscht, with a simple apple-pear crisp for dessert.
What better thing to do with beets on a hot summer day? We followed the recipe from Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook, which I wholeheartedly recommend; it also has a great hot borscht recipe. We made some modifications to the cold borscht recipe to make it more like the cold borscht (actually, svekol’nik) made by ib’s great-grandmother.