I love borscht. I've never made it, you understand, but I will some winter day when I am seeking comfort. It has provided comfort for me from the start, and has never disappointed me, even though our interactions have been few and far between.
My first encounter was in a small bistro called Slavic Corner tucked away in a strip mall on Odana Road in Madison, Wis. I was working as a marketing assistant for a tech firm, my first job out of college, and I had a boss who may or may not have been a sociopath. One day, after a particularly discouraging meeting, the sales manager and I were joined by a customer support specialist )who had also felt the wrath of the boss' temper that day) for lunch at Slavic Corner. Borscht was the soup du jour, as it should be at more restaurants.
I will never forget the comforting feeling the combination of beets and sour cream delivered. Sadly, the restaurant was short-lived, but I've encountered borscht on a few deli menus and I order it when I see it there; as it happens, I like comfort even when it's not essential to my well being.
But it's hot in Wisconsin, finally, and my taste turns to cooler dishes. I bought fresh beets from Immerfrost Farm the other day, and fully expected to make a beet-chevre salad. But eyeing a carton of sour cream in the fridge, I made this instead:
Cubed Cold Beets with Sour Cream, Sea Salt, Dill and Chives (3-4 servings)
- 5-6 medium beets, cooked, peeled, chilled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- sea salt to taste
Prepare the beets, either by roasting in the oven or by boiling. Peel, chill and chop. Set aside.
In small bowl, blend room temperature cream cheese with sour cream. Salt beets to taste, and top with cream cheese-sour cream mixture. Sprinkle on chives and dill.
I'd prefer this dish served with pork or beef. I prefer to serve beets with red meat - just a personal quirk. I prefer them served with potatoes and a green vegetable.
The addition of chevre elevates this to more than a side dish.