Abra Beren’s new cookbook Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables is a gem, a gorgeous guide for learning how to to make the most of each season’s bounty in a delicious and artful way. Packed with beautifully planty photography and wholesome plant-based recipes, it’s the kind of cookbook you’ll want to flip through even if you’re not big on the whole home-cooking thing (yet).

This pretty pink recipe caught our eye and we had to share. We love it paired with clean protein as a colorful, seasonal side dish or as the star of the show for a special occasion (hello, date night). Check out our interview with Abra here and bookmark this baby for your next cooking night…

Generally, I use a microwave to warm up my forgotten morning coffee and for little else. But there are other uses. The beets in this recipe will purée to a significantly smoother texture if they are warm. If you have prepared beets earlier in the week and want to make this sauce, simply warm them up in the microwave with a splash of water. Alternatively, if you are cooking loads of beets, it’s smart to make the purée when they are warm out of the oven. It will store in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a good long time. This pasta salad also works as a cold salad, but often needs an extra pinch of salt, since the flavors will be muted when cold.

Beet-Dressed Pasta With Golden Raisins + Poppy Seeds


¼ cup golden raisins
juice of ½ lemon (0.75 fl oz)
2 steam-roasted beets (1 lb)
¼ cup olive oil
salt + freshly ground black pepper
1 lb small pasta (bow ties, orecchiette or penne)
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
cream (optional)


Soak the golden raisins in ½ cup hot water with a squeeze of lemon for 10 minutes or until they are plump. Strain the raisins, saving the water.

In a food processor, purée the beets with the olive oil, raisin water and a good pinch of salt and pepper until very smooth. If you like dairy, toss in a glug of cream.

Boil the pasta in well-salted water and drain. Toss the pasta with the beet purée (to warm and coat), soaked raisins and poppy seeds. Transfer to serving platter or individual bowls. Drizzle with additional olive oil.

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