White Beets & Walnut Paste

cup-a walnut paste
a white beet!

it’s been a lousy week in some ways, but in other ways, things are looking up. most importantly, the hakurei turnips are up in my garden!! i thought L was just trying to trick me into getting out of bed, but when i did, there they were… two glorious light green rows of sprouts. i have been audibly squealing (and running to the window to check on them) all morning. hakurei turnips are, in my opinion, one of the very best things about summer. i discovered them in my box of veggies one week a couple of years ago, when i participated in the CSA program offered by the food project.

hakurei turnips from the food project (2007)

also on the looking up end of things, i’ve tried two new food items this week!

i bought a rather expensive package of mixed local beets at city feed the other day, and while inspecting it in the store i noticed what i thought must be a very beet looking turnip… it was white! i decided to trust them and take my chances. when i got it home and held it in my hands, i knew it was a beet. wikipedia tells me that it’s likely called “albina vereduna.” pleased to meet you! the flavor was delicate but unmistakeably beet… kind of like the golden variety (which i also steamed).

white beets in action

the other new find was a chinatown gamble that i made on individually packaged “walnut paste” and “almond paste” packets. it wasn’t initially clear whether these were for dessert or breakfast. it was clear that all i had to do was dump the packet into a mug or bowl, add hot water, and stir (“it can now be served!”). being familiar with thai and chinese black sesame hot cereals, i added more water than called for – i don’t mind it being a little thinner if it means getting a little more mileage out of it. we tried the walnut version as an evening snack (i had mine with blackberries and L had his with strawberries), and we both really enjoyed it. it was quite sweet, but at 50 cents a packet, it was a very successful treat. i’m keeping the almond paste in my desk drawer at the office, in case of snack emergency.

cup-a walnut paste
it can now be served!

City Feed and Supply
672 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

C-Mart Supermarket (formerly Thai Binh Market)
692 Washington St
(between Kneeland St & Lagrange St)
Boston, MA 02111


14 thoughts on “White Beets & Walnut Paste

  1. oh I’m jealous about the walnut and almond paste, and curious how it came out so white! I already know I love just straight from the can coconut milk (no not thelite kind) on my fruit – even better than dairy cream. Ask Tiffany – she now serves it over apple pie or any such too. Though I dunno how to whip it without learning another new trick.

  2. I keep walnut paste (sesame paste too)in my office too! They are great for afternoon snack! BTW, grounded sesame powder is great too.

  3. What are your suggestions for the little turnips? I just got some of those in my CSA box and I don’t know quite what to do with them, other than the obvious and fatty solution of sauteeing them in butter (which works with most everything but isn’t exactly the optimal thing to do….)

    • oh! don’t cook them if you don’t have to – they’re so wonderful raw! i slice them with a mandoline or in wedges and eat them in salad. i’ve even just eaten them out of hand a few times. try it!

    • Why, I WILL! This week I might go ahead and toss them in a stew, since I’m still recovering from wisdom tooth extraction and can’t handle crunchy deliciousness yet. :( I cannot wait for the day when I can chow on raw veggies again!

    • OOH! I wound up saving them till my gums were partially healed. Sliced them and tossed them with thin-sliced carrots and french radishes in a gingery/citrusy vinaigrette and let it sit for an hour before devouring. Absolutely delicious! Thanks for the raw tip–I’m a convert!

    • so glad you liked them! seriously, the summer i discovered them, i went around proclaiming that they were the best thing about summer. i’m *very* excited to try hakurei turnips that i’ve grown myself.

  4. Every year a couple of my chioggia beets come out pure white. I think it’s a recessive trait, and I always try to do something special with them. Must look for walnut paste…

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