Purple Food


What Lurks Beneath The Surface

Words and styling by Mindi Shapiro Levine

Food styling and recipes by Lilly Plauché

Photography by Mary Britton Senseney

Something lurks beneath the surface of our sophisticated October recipes. There is a foreboding nod to the obvious – All Hollow’s Eve. The mature spin is deep, dark, hauntingly sinful purple produce.

Purple-heirloom carrots, beets and Peruvian potatoes are root vegetables that are buried in the earth until they are ready to harvest. Cut open any of these and you’ll find the flesh is purple, and when cooked, the color deepens.

Purple is associated with royalty and nobility as well as the supernatural and mysticism. But in 16th century England, purple was the color worn during the final stage of mourning. In parts of East Asia, purple is known as the color of death. These bleak associations only enhance the flight of the imagination of Halloween. And for our purposes, purple is devilishly delicious. Dare to enjoy!

Herbed Potato Salad

Servings: 6

11/2 pounds small purple potatoes

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

11/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 shallots, finely chopped

1.    Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Once cool enough to handle, cut in half.

2.    Whisk together olive oil and remaining ingredients. Toss with potatoes. Serve warm or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Roasted Beet, Orange and Arugula Salad

Servings: 6

6 beets, scrubbed, tops removed

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

¼ cup fresh orange juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

9 cups arugula

¼ cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1.    Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap beets tightly in foil to create a packet. Roast 1 hour 15 minutes or until knife can be easily inserted in center. Cool. Remove skins from beets and thinly slice.

2.    Whisk together olive oil and next 5 ingredients. Divide arugula among 6 plates. Top evenly with sliced beets. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Pomegranate-Glazed Carrots

Servings: 6

½ cup pomegranate juice

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

11/2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

11/2 tablespoons olive oil

11/2 pounds small carrots

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

1.    Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add pomegranate mixture and cook 3 minutes or until most liquid is evaporated, stirring frequently. Stir in butter, tossing until melted. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

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