Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife

Photography by Sara Jewell

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Pickles from my mother's kitchen

Pickle making is something that I’ve borrowed from my mother’s kitchen. She used to make beet pickles mostly, and she liked them on the tangy side. There always seemed to be rows upon rows of quart sized jars in the basement, but then again, I was young and everything seemed to be so endlessly abundant then.

I would grab a jar, unscrew the metal ring top and pop the sealed lid with the help of a fork. From there, I would spike a fork into the ever so dark juices in hope to capture a jewel-toned piece of sweet and vinegary root. Once I had consumed about half the jar, I would pour out some of the pickling brine to ease my fork-fishing endeavors.

 
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife
 

Pickles in my kitchen

Pickles, now, are something that I serve alongside almost everything. I enjoy having food boards when friends come over and pickles of every kind balance those out ever so well. They're also such a lovely palate cleansing food, which can be used between courses or as a starter to a meal.

If I'm being perfectly honest though, I make pickles for the very selfish reason of eating them by the jar-full. Simply with a fork, or alongside aged cheddar and crackers. On evenings when I can't be bothered to make a meal, and Tom isn't home to eat, pickles and cheese is my guilty pleasure. 

 
Food-70.jpg
 

This time of year, when carrots are getting sweeter and stems are getting more fibrous, all I want to do is make pickles. Sure, you can make pickles out of just about anything, kale stems, beets, carrots, beans, zucchini or cukes. However, there's something quite fantastic about doing a combination or mixed pickle. I love popping open a jar and savoring the different tastes and textures.

This one has three main ingredients: rainbow chard stems, carrots & garlic scapes and it truly is a delight.

 
Food-67.jpg
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife

THE RECIPE


Makes 2 quarts

2 C carrot sticks
2 C rainbow chard stems*
1 - 2 garlic scapes

2 C filtered water
1 C white vinegar
1 C white wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T salt

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your vegetables into sticks of matching length no longer than the height of the jar (you need to be able to fully submerge them) and pack it into your mason jars.

  2. The tighter you pack it the better your pickles will be and the less likely they are to go bad.

  3. Mix together the water, vinegars, sugar & salt to make your pickling liquid.

  4. Once the salt & sugar have dissolved, pour the liquid over the veg to fill the jars.

  5. Use your finger to pack them in even more and release as much air as possible. Tapping gently on the counter after the lid is on also works well to release air bubbles.

  6. Leave the jars on the counter for at least an hour then store them in the fridge.

 

more carrot recipes

Carrot, Onion & Ginger Soup
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife

Photography by Sara Jewell

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Warming foods for fall

There comes a time every year where my soul aches to settle back down into the earth. The elation of warm summer days passes swiftly as the cooler winds of fall roll into the garden. Once these winds begin to blow in, I feel a deep calling to root myself back down and settle for the long winter to come. For this, I turn to warming spices and steaming bowls of soup.

It seems to me like this year, the fairies who paint the golden tones of autumn have come to us a little earlier than expected. So today, despite it being the middle of August, I'm ready to cozy up to a fresh bowl of savory carrot soup. Are you?

 
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife
 

Carrot soup

Carrot soup is one of my fall favorites. This version is especially delicious as the layers of caramelized onions and carrot pair particularly well with the warming garlic and ginger. The small whisper of coconut from the oil really rounds it out perfectly.

 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1 doz medium size carrots, washed & chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 in. ginger, peeled & chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled & chopped
2 T coconut oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

10 min PREP 

  1. First, chop everything roughly. No need to get fancy here as this soup goes into the blender.

  2. Next, add 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to a big soup pot over medium-high heat. 

  3. Once it's melted, add your veggies & cook until caramelized. This is the secret to this soup. Do not skip this step!

  4. After about 15 minutes, add the 2nd spoon of coconut oil & give it a good stir, then add the ginger and garlic.

  5. At the 20 minute mark, your carrots should have caramelized and the pot should smell of ginger, now's the time to deglaze with the apple cider vinegar.

  6. Add enough water to cover everything then bring it back to the boil.

  7. Once everything is hot again, transfer to a blender & blend until smooth. Be careful not to overfill your blender with hot ingredients as it can result in burns!

  8. Top with coriander flowers or sunflower seeds, enjoy!

 

more carrot recipes

Kale & Barbecue Corn Bowl With Chili Lime Dressing
Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7652.jpg

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Corn Boils

Back in Quebec, where I grew up, we would have block parties where corn would get bought, husked and boiled al fresco. I distinctively remember an evening in my early teens. I was at my aunt's place. The humidity of summer was at it's peek and a sheen of sweat covered everyone.

We stepped out into her backyard, where friends and neighbors had assembled. There were strings of holiday lights hung up and picnic tables covered with homemade dishes in every color and style. There was also an abundance of sweet treats that the neighborhood conspired to get their sticky fingers into. They would then run off and hide under the tables to relish their stolen delights.

At the center of all of this laughter and companionship was corn. That was what brought us together under the summer moon. Fresh sweet corn is delicious in all its forms. You can eat it raw, boil it or grill it.

Leftovers can be frozen, canned or included in all matter of dishes like this one.

 
Corn, Kale & Cuke Salad with Chili Lime Sauce - The Nomadic Wife-7662.jpg

THE RECIPE


per person

3 stocks curly kale
1 ear of corn
2-3 small cucumbers
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1/4 C black or white sesame

For sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T grainy mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t chili powder
1 t turmeric
2 T lime juice
1/2 t salt

10 min PREP 

  1. I use leftover grilled corn for this recipe but if you want to make it from raw you can follow the instructions here.

  2. Remove the kernels from the corn using a knife or a fork, then place in a large bowl with cut kale + cucumbers.

  3. Mix the sauce, then top with seeds and serve.

 

more corn recipes

Bounty Bowls With Minty Labneh Sauce
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife

Bowl RECIPE DEVELOPPED WITH DR. BRIANA LUTZ


 

Labneh Tzatziki Sauce

This sauce recipe was created to become a staple in your kitchen. It can be served alongside cut vegetables as a quick snack, in a cold or warm bowl or as a garnish on top of your favorite soup.

Like I mention in this post, it's all about the dressing when it comes to bowls, so I figured I'd let you in on some of my favorites.

The goal with these (and every recipe created in The Nomadic Wife kitchen) is “do this easy thing & call it good”. Don’t strive for perfection. Use it as a tool. Most of all, show yourself a little grace and allow yourself the space to make it your own.

I also use a similar sauce in this recipe, as a salad dressing with broccoli and carrots or in this recipe as the dressing in yummy chickpea gyros on naan bread.

Bounty Bowls / Veggie Bowls

I can talk about eating bowls until I'm blue in the face (as you may have noticed). Truth is you can really throw in anything you like. Right now there are a lot of veggies available in your CSA bounty, so don't be afraid to mix it up.

Try a version with mostly greens. Try one with all your veggies raw or all your veggies cooked. Go nuts!

 
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife
Bounty Bowl with Minty Labneh Sauce - The Nomadic Wife

THE RECIPE


Serves 2-4

1 C labneh
2 T fresh mint
2 T fresh dill
1 large clove garlic
2 t Himalayan salt
 

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your herbs and use a microplane or the small side on the box grater to grate the garlic

  2. Mix in with strained yogurt (labneh) * see pro tip below

  3. Let sit for a few minutes and salt to taste

 

Pro tip:

Don't have labneh? No problem, place 1.5 C plain yogourt in a paper coffee filter and let the water drain out into a bowl. Labneh is basically drained yogourt with a little salt!


more yogourt/labneh recipes

Parkland County's Local Farm Trail - Alberta Open Farm Days
Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Happy Acres U Pick - The Nomadic Wife (12).jpg

Post SPONSORED BY parkland county

photography by sara jewell


 

I want my son to know where his food comes from. It may seem a little early (he’s only 5 months) but let me tell you he was 100% captivated with all the things he saw. I want him to make positive associations with his food and meet the people who labor over the crops and raise the animals that feed him.

Alberta Open Farm Days lifts the veil on the ever growing question: where does my food come from?

Parkland County’s Local Farm Trail

I had the pleasure of visiting the five farms which are part of Parkland County’s Local Farm Trail this week with my dear friend Sara and our little critters. We got to meet the owners of these farms. They welcomed us with arms wide open and gab at the ready. We learn TONS about how their operations work, what they produce and most of all, who they are as people. As men and women. As families.

Curious about farms but unsure how to plan your route for Alberta Open Farm Days?

I don’t know about you but I’m a busy gal and sometimes, I have a hard time choosing. So, instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, the lovely coordinators at Parkland County may just have the thing for you.

 

Guided Tour
When: August 18th
TIme: 9 AM - 3 PM
Where: Get all your info + tickets here

Parkland County offers a guided bus tour + lunch (which only has about 20 tickets left)

 
 

Curious about where you'll be headed?
Here are the farms you'll get to enjoy on your tour!

Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Happy Acres U Pick - The Nomadic Wife (2).jpg
 

First stop Happy Acres U-Pick

If you decide to join the guided tour, your first stop will be Happy Acres U-Pick, a darling farm nestled in on the corner of Golden Spike Road & Range Road 273. You will be greeted by Tennille with a warm breakfast and coffee. Let me just tell you, from one foodie to another, that I would be there every single day for their muffins alone if this on-farm café was my neighborhood place!

Then you'll be whisked away for a tour of the property and early access to their u-pick gardens. Everything is clearly marked off for picking. They believe that nature will take care of things, so they don't irrigate (can you believe it?) and the variety of produce available is astounding!

Don't be afraid to ask questions!

I learned quite a few things as we went through the rows of produce. Namely that peas (shelling, snow and snap) are all entirely edible, you just have to be willing to pull the stringy fiber from the pods on the shelling peas! It takes a minute, but it sure is worth the effort and it can be a fun way to get help from your kids in the kitchen. Either way, I won't be composting those shells anymore.

From the gardens, you'll be able to walk back to the red barn and get to meet some pretty fantastic farm animals. Then you'll head back to the treat center (seen above) and get ready to move on to the next farm.

 
 

on to the next farm...

Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Aspen Grove - The Nomadic Wife (19).jpg
 

Aspen Grove Nursery

There will be a whole lot happening at Aspen Grove Nursery for Open Farm Days. They will have a handmade market, a confection stand, apple tasting in their orchard and a pruning demonstration. You'll have more than enough to do while you're there, but make sure you visit the animals too! 

This place is more than an awesome looking western-movie-set inspired nursery. Each creature that resides on the farm has a story to tell (usually from rather rough beginnings). They have a farm rescue program going strong on the farm and some of the proceeds from OFD will go straight back into the animal's care! They now all live as a happy family on the farm. There's even a cow who's pretty sure it's a donkey because it was raised since it was little with them!

Want to hear a cool story while you're there? Ask about the homestead. It's one of the first houses with running water in the whole county!

 

On to the next.. 

Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Farmer Dell - The Nomadic Wife (20).jpg
 

FARmer DELL

I wanted to knit a sweater so I bought a flock of sheep - Farmer Dell

Farmer Dell (which is her middle name by the way) has to be one of the most hospitable women I've ever met. Her charm and her property will make you want to stay forever!

Here you will meet some friendly sheep and learn about the arts of spinning and weaving. She has also dug her heels (and spade) into the concepts behind permaculture. She said something which really rang true to me "I'm not a sheep farmer, I'm a soil farmer". Truth is, if you're farming for better soil, you're improving the entire chain.

Better soil means better grass + vegetables. Which in turn means better sheep + chickens. Which in turn means better manure... which you guessed it, makes better soil.

She'll be providing some hot + iced tea during the tour so be sure to pause, have a sip and bask in Farmer Dell's wisdom.

 

Epicurean lunch on the trail...

Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Jim Schoepp - The Nomadic Wife (7).jpg
 

Homegrown Foods

That's a lot of exploring for one morning! The next stop is at Home Grown Foods for an epicurean lunch in the shade (where we are standing in the above photo) using the produce and products from the farms on the Parkland County Local Farm Trail.

While you're here you'll get a little bit of the farm's history. They've been a farm family since they moved over from Austria five generations ago. Talk about having it in your blood! While we were there I even got to meet the next generation of Schoepp farmers, their daughter. She was painting trim to tidy up before farm days!

You'll also be able to experience some of their goods, like beef, bread made from their freshly ground flour, as well as their legendary soft serve ice cream! 

If you want to know more about organic farming, these are the folks you want to be asking as they were doing it long before it was "the thing to be done".

 

Last but definitely not the least...

Parkland County - Open Farm Days - Good Morning Honey - The Nomadic Wife (30).jpg
 

Good Morning Honey

I don't know about you but I've never been to a honey farm before. Of all the honey farms we could have visited I was glad it was this one. Why? Because I recently discovered Good Morning Honey through some friends (who own The Colombian Mountain Coffee).

When I tried Richard and Amber's honey for the first time I had a coming-home moment. I didn't know why, and I couldn't quite explain it but I had a rush of sticky sweet memories from my childhood. When I visited their farm, I figured out what it was all about.

They produce (among other things) clover honey. Which is what I had growing up and they jar it in its purest, simplest form. Just as nature intended.

One of the things that completely blew my mind, and that I had never really stopped to think about was how everything gets used in a honey operation. Nothing gets wasted. The wax gets seperated for candle making, the honey gets bottled up and even the pollen.. oh the divine tasting fresh pollen, gets packaged up and sold.

This, my friends, will end your tour on the sweetest possible note.

 
 

Well friends, if you're still here, I strongly suggest you get some tour tickets because I barely scratched the surface of what I learnt this week visiting these lovely folk & their farms.

 

A huge thank you to everyone involved in making this tour happen & letting me take an ever so small part in it.

Fettuccine Alfredo a la Thomas - with broccoli and summer peas
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

“This is the kind of recipe you serve your mother-in-law if you want her to roll out of your house when she leaves.” - Thomas

I do most of the cooking in our house, but Tom has a handful of sensational recipes that he keeps in his back pocket for the days where I really can’t be bothered to cook (or the ones where he feels like treating me to a sprinkle of his culinary genius).

Tom has been making this particular pasta recipe for as long as I’ve known him, and it’s still part of our special occasions rotation today. I’ll be frank in saying it’s definitely not something that makes it to our table more than a two or three times a year, as it truly is an indulgent dish.

A friend told me that Alfredo sauce is completely absent in Italy. So, there’s no real saying where this is from. I can tell you however that Alfredo pasta is quite popular in Quebec. Most of us have, at some time or other, had some form of it from a glass jar or a simply-add-milk type of pouch.

This alfredo sauce recipe is neither here nor there.

While it is made from very few ingredients, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. When combined, these ingredients sing each other’s praises and make for a dish worthy of a queen. It’s very creamy, perfectly umami and a touch on the salty side. One must approach it with a certain sense of epicurean greed and appreciate that your tablemates may not want to share their bowls as they relish in every bite.

 
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

Gratitude for the hands that cook

This recipe always floods me with gratitude towards Tom and the time he takes to cook for me. Especially at the height of summer when it is his busiest season. I feel like it's one of the gifts of life that keeps on giving. This seemingly simple act of kindness fills my cup in more ways than I can explain.

It has me reaching for the quote on my desk (sent to me by a friend & pen pal) which you can see in the photos. It reads:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite, only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” - Henry David Thoreau

 
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

THE RECIPE


Serves 6-8

¼ lb salted butter
473 ml heavy cream (35% or more)
250 g parmesan

1 package fettuccine

Optional

16 large raw shrimps

1 C freshly shelled peas
2 C broccoli florets

* the three cups of veg can be swapped out for greens like kale, spinach or collards

10 min PREP + 20 cook

  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add butter over medium heat to a pan large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients.

  3. Place pasta in the water and cook until al dente (usually a few minutes less than the package indicates) then drain.

    • keep a little bit of the cooking water in case your sauce doesn't thicken to your liking

  4. Once butter is melted, add cream.

  5. Once cream has begun to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and incorporate Parmesan a little at a time

  6. When the Parmesan is completely incorporated, add the shrimp and veggies.

    • If the sauce is still very liquid, add the pasta water.

  7. The minute the shrimp turn fully pink, add the drained pasta, toss well and serve immediately.

 

Pro tip:

  1. Keep an eye on the butter as it’s melting and don’t let it brown. Add the cream in as soon as your butter is fully melted.

  2. Keep a bit (2-3 T) of pasta water in case your sauce doesn’t thicken enough, the starch will help it thicken.


more Broccoli recipes

Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

I could basically survive off of bread and cheese ( or some other form of wheat and dairy combination ) but we all know that’s rather unsustainable and can quickly become quite boring. Well, that is, if you’re only exploring the basics. Thankfully this recipe is quite a few steps beyond good old cheddar on crackers, but it remains in the same realm of quick, satisfying and delightful.

You can have this herbed yogourt + crackers on its own, but also keep it in your arsenal for the next time you have friends over. This recipe would make a great addition to a charcuterie board or as part of a tapas spread. Also, given that they have a similar acidity to plain yogourt, you could easily experiment with goat cheese or labneh for the base of this recipe if you’re craving something a little bit more spreadable.

 
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

A little bit about fennel

Fennel is one of those vegetables that people seem to either love or hate. The bulb has a slight anise-like flavor which I personally find quite refreshing when it’s eaten shaved and raw. It becomes milder as it cooks, so if you’re on the fence about trying fennel, I’d say start with a recipe where it’s cooked like this one or this one.

The fronds on the other hand can be quite stringy and tough, like a celery stick but denser, so I prefer cutting it against the grain whenever possible. The wispy fronds also hold a bit of licorice-like flavor, but in a somewhat subdued form which is perfect for today’s recipe.

 
 
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2 CUPs

1 C fennel fronds, minced
6-8 large basil leaves
10-12 mint leaves
Small bunch of parsley
½-¾ C plain yogourt
Salt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Cut all your herbs, place them in a bowl

  2. Mix in yogourt + a good pinch of salt

  3. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least 15 minutes.

  4. Taste and adjust salt before serving with your favorite crackers or as part of a charcuterie board


more fennel recipes

Kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE Sponsored by riverbend Gardens


 

Bowls are quite fashionable right now. If you look at any foodie’s Instagram feed long enough (mine included) you will begin to see little pops of bowls everywhere. Breakfast bowls. Lunch bowls. Dinner bowls. Poke bowls. Bowls bowls bowls.

So, why am I trying to get you on the bus with me on this one? So we can be fashionable friends together? While that seems like an alluring proposition, and I’m all for fashionable friends, there’s more to it than that. Bowls to me are an easy way to get a variety of foods onto the table with very little effort. Laziness, my friend, is at the root of this one. You can call it strategic or even cleaver, but between you and I, I don’t have a million hours a week to put food on the table (and neither do you I assume). I’m also not willing to compromise on a simple principle. I want fresh food fast, not fast food.

 
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

How to build a bowl

My approach to bowls is a simple one. Start with what’s available right now. Sure we can get whatever we want from big box stores (or small local grocers) these days, but I like to start at the farmer’s market and look around to what’s available. Right now, there’s a myriad of produce available, because it’s the end of july, so you can easily pick a handful of produce that inspires you.

I try to aim for at least one green thing and then I add as many colors as I can.

From there I make sure there is a good source of protein & some fat so that I’m not hungry 5 minutes after I’m done eating. That could mean cheese, eggs, beans or leftovers from last night’s rotisserie chicken. Easy enough right?

It’s all in the dressing

One of the key ways to make a bowl taste divine, is to make sure that you have a tasty dressing. I suggest keeping on hand a couple of dressings (perhaps one oil-and-vinegar and one creamy style) that you really enjoy to make bowl making a breeze.

For this particular bowl I went with an Asian-inspired dressing made from sesame oil, tamari, and rice vinegar. it's one of the combinations that you find often in my cuisine (it’s the base for my ginger beef and sunomono salad) and it has all of the flavors that I enjoy. It's slightly salty, perfectly acidic and a good amount of umami.

 
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2 bowls

2 eggs
2 medium carrots
1 baseball size kholrabi
1 bunch kale
3-4 garlic scapes
(or garlic cloves)
2 t butter
1 t sesame oil
1 t toasted sesame seeds
1 t black sesame seeds
 

Dressing

1/2 C labneh
1 T fresh mint, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 t himalayan salt
1 T avocado oil

15 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from kohlrabi and chop them in ribbons along with the kale (stems included)

  2. In a pan over medium heat, add half the butter.

  3. Chop the garlic scapes, add them to the pan. Stir until the scapes becomes fragrant.

  4. Then add the greens & 1 t sesame oil, stir and remove from heat.

  5. Peel and julienne the kohlrabi. Grate the carrots and place both in your bowls.

  6. Give one last stir to the greens and remove them from the pan into the bowls.

  7. Add the remaining butter and fry your egg to your desired doneness (scrambled worked well too).

  8. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork, then drizzle over your bowl.

  9. Top with egg & sesame seeds and enjoy!


more kohlrabi recipes

Roasted Beet + Berry Hummus
beet and haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

The first time I had homemade hummus was in Montreal, standing in a friend’s kitchen as his mother began preparing the evening meal.

It was one of the first times in my life that I had experienced family life in a multi-generational home. There was tension, for sure, as everyone was grown up, had their own opinions and schedules. Yet, among all of these fine lines that needn't be crossed and unspoken rules, there was a sort of balance I had never felt before. A sense of deeply rooted belonging that permeated every word, every action and every dish.

Daily meals were prepared for twice as many people than there were sitting down at the table. It was understood and expected that a friend or family member might pop in, unannounced, to share the meal. There was always more than enough food to go around, and in the very unlikely occasion that food should run out, there was always a full pantry and capable hands ready to make more.

To me, this level of hospitality is heart expanding. It is one of the underlying notions of how I run my own kitchen today. In our home we jokingly say to our friends “It’s simple enough to add another stone to the soup. You are always welcome here”.

So, back to hummus.

Her’s was a traditional recipe, made of chickpeas, lemon, tahini & olive oil. She had been making this recipe long enough that her grandchildren, who were now adults were eating it. I couldn't help but think that part of the reason why her hummus was as bright as sunshine in the early morn', was that her hands were steeped in lemon from years and years of pressing.

 
haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

This recipe is something else altogether. While it still contains some of the soul and simplicity of the dip I tasted in my friend’s kitchen, it is vibrant in ways unrelated to the juice of those sun-kissed citruses. It celebrates the coming of summer with the season’s very first roasted beets and the end of the cold season with the last of their pickled companions.

The acidity comes from vinegar in the pickles and the color, oh the color, comes in part from the beets and in part from this little northern berry that ripens on the summer winds. Fresh haskap berries bring a lovely acidity of their own to the mix. Their flavor is akin to raspberry meets tart green apple, and they round out the earthiness of the beets just perfectly.

If you cannot find haskaps, don’t fret, this recipe will be delicious without them. But if you can find them fresh, add them in and you won’t be sorry.

 
 
beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2.5 CUPS

1 C cooked and drained chickpeas
½ C roasted beets
½ C pickled beets
½ haskap berries
2 T olive oil (more if needed
½ t salt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from 4-5 small beets if there are any.

  2. Place on a baking tray at 400 for 30 minutes

  3. Once cooled add everything in a food processor & blend until smooth.


more beet recipes