A Twist on Trendy Toast from Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery

Beetroot and Labneh Toast With Pickled Onions and Pepita Za‘atar



George Bezanson, co-owner and chef of Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery in Dover, has been exploring trendy toast variations for Sunday brunch, including avocado and tapenade versions. Here he offers a recipe using tangy labneh (yogurt cheese) and roasted beets. The café has a healthy focus and uses local foods. Bezanson feels it’s important to help people make the right choices in their diets. It’s not easy to always eat the right things, but as a chef, he can help create an awareness of how tasty healthy food can be. Previously, Chef Bezanson helped start Bridge Café and Mint Bistro in Manchester and Pressed Café in Nashua. The breakfast/lunch café occasionally offers ticketed dinners, including a ramen pop-up night and veggie BBQ event.

Photo Courtesy of George Bezanson

4 to 6 servings, with leftover labneh

Chef’s Note: For this recipe, we used toasted sourdough bread from Earth’s Harvest Kitchen. Feel free to use any quality sourdough or your bread of choice.

Labneh (or substitute with a whipped goat cheese, mixed with lemon zest and a pinch of salt)

1 quart (32 oz.) plain Greek yogurt,  
  2 percent or full-fat
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 pieces of cheesecloth or clean
   lint-free kitchen towel

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix until incorporated — do not over-mix. Line a fine-mesh basket strainer with double layer of cheesecloth or dish towel, leaving enough cloth to fold over top. Hook strainer over large bowl, allowing enough clearance for excess whey to drain away. Scoop yogurt mixture into cheesecloth-lined basket, fold extra cheese cloth over top of yogurt. Pat down gently to make sure no yogurt is exposed. Place undisturbed in refrigerator for 48 hours to drain.
Remove yogurt from cheesecloth and place in covered container. Refrigerate until needed.

Pickled Red Onions

2 medium red onions
3 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar

Slice onions into 1/8- to 1/4-inch strips with a sharp knife or mandolin. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a simmer, mixing frequently until salt and sugar are dissolved. Place sliced onions into vinegar mixture and simmer, stirring continuously, for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate onions in liquid for at least three hours. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Salt-roasted beets

4 medium red or gold beets
Kosher salt (enough to fill a small baking dish 2 inches deep)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
8-10 thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a deep baking dish with a 2-inch-deep bed of kosher salt and set aside. Wash, trim and pat dry beets. In a bowl, toss beets and olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange beets on prepared bed of salt, burying them halfway deep. Arrange thyme loosely around beets and cover dish with foil. Roast for 1 hour or until tender but slightly firm to the touch. Allow beets to rest, covered, for 30 minutes. Peel skin off warm beets and slice into ¼-inch rounds. Set aside.

Pepita Za’atar Spice Mix (or use Stock + Spice Za’atar )

Optional: ½ tablespoon toasted ground sumac
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped
   fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon crushed dried chilies
Optional: ¼ cup roughly chopped pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

Toast the spices and sesame seeds (or za’atar spice mix) in a dry Teflon pan for about a minute, shaking the pan frequently. Set aside to cool, then add the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Finishing Touches

Good extra virgin olive oil
Good local honey
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Micro greens, sprouts or fresh parsley

Assembly

Spread labneh (or whipped goat cheese) on toasted sourdough, arrange beet slices and pickled onions over top. Drizzle honey and olive oil over beet toast. Finish with za’atar spice, salt, pepper and greens of choice.

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