I have always been enamoured with unusual ingredient combinations. Things that you might not think would go together, or things that you are sure wouldn’t work in a particular flavor profile or in the confines of one of the five flavors. I think perhaps it stems from just that: the fact that sometimes traditional flavour combinations and ingredient arrangements seem so confined. So much within these boxes of what has come to be acceptable because society is used to it and says it is acceptable. I’m all about breaking out of boxes.
One of my favourite books in the kitchen is The Flavor Bible. It is this giant, incredible reference book that contains ingredients and then tells you what flavors pair well with that ingredients. For example, if you had some fresh parsley, you could look up parsley and it would tell you all the ingredients or flavors that pair well with it. And then of course, you can use it to inspire what you should make for dinner.
And if you had beetroot, you could look it up as well. And it would give you a lot of options, many of which you are likely quite familiar with and which don’t really fall that far outside the box. Others maybe less so.
Or perhaps in the delivery of the beetroot, maybe even less so again.
There comes a time when you just can’t have pie only as pie. And when you can’t have beetroot only as beetroot roasted up for dinner. Or turned into juice. Or used in a salad. And while you could do the chocolate beetroot route, as I’ve done before, it too, arguably, is becoming a little bit more mainstream and confined in the box.
We’re going against all mainstream plans and creating pie turned into bars, with beetroot made sweet and turned into a gooey, caramel topping. I’m pairing beetroot with blackberries and capitalizing on the unique earthy beetroot flavor against the tartness of the berries and the sweet caramel notes of the dates. It’s dumped on top of a slightly sweet coconut oat base, yielding a gooey-pie like topping that is then covered in a crumble. Like all good pies, there is a good base, a gooey filling and a crumbly topping.
Some things aren’t that much against the confines or outside of the box after all.
What’s your favourite way to use traditional ingredients in non-traditional ways?