De Ma Cuisine

Steaming Archive



November 2015



Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It’s chilly today. And it’s delightful. I’m still wearing flip flops, but I’ve got thick socks on too (don’t judge). I’ve been seeing on social media that some places are already getting snow. I complain about how hot it is here at this time of year, but I wonder, if we were to move somewhere with four real seasons, would I complain then too? Probably.


One of the great things about the mild winters that we have is the produce is bountiful all year long. I’m trying to look on the bright side, to be positive, to think up rather than down. Not easy for a pessimist to do. But, this, this is definitely a plus.

Beets are in season right now. So are pomegranates. Both have stained my hands red. I’m ok with that. I used some of the red coloring from the beets to try to dye some homemade tortillas. They may just end up looking pink. I’m ok with that too.


The idea for this dish was to so something quick and easy with beets. Steaming them takes less time than roasting, so that’s what I opted for. I had some potatoes to steam for another dish, so I reused the water. If you don’t have anything else to cook, you could add a little more water, throw in your vegetable scraps, and make some veggie stock.


Honey, goat cheese, garlic, and ginger compliment the beets’ earthy flavor. Because it gets broiled, the raw flavors mellow a bit. But, you could always use roasted garlic and powdered ginger if you want to tone it down even more.


Variations on this dish: Chop up the steamed beets and toss with the cheese mixture and broil. You could serve this as a dip, or just alongside your main dish. Tofu or vegan cheese can be substituted for the goat or feta cheese and yogurt. I used to be a non-goat cheese eater. This is the second recipe that I’ve made where I enjoyed it though, so I guess I’m coming around.


This made a nice light lunch, but it would also be great alongside some quinoa or pilaf for a heartier lunch, or for dinner. Maybe as a nice change from Thanksgiving leftovers later in the week?

Happy Eating!

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 1 whole beet

Twice Cooked Beets with Pomegranates and Goat Cheese


  • 2 beets, peeled and halved
  • 1 t fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/4 t dried, crumbled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (raw or roasted)
  • 1/4 t fresh ginger, minced (or pinch ground)
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 oz. goat cheese or feta or tofu
  • 1-2 T/serving plain yogurt or silken tofu, for topping
  • walnuts, chopped, for topping
  • pomegranate seeds, for topping
  • could also top with chopped cucumber


  1. Place beets in a steamer basket in a pot with about 1 1/2" boiling water in the bottom. Cover and steam for about 20-30 minutes, or until beets are tender (easily pierced with a sharp knife).
  2. Toss parsley through cheese. Set aside.
  3. Let beets cool slightly. Slice a tiny bit off the bottom of each beet so it sits flat. Scoop center out of beets (leaving a sturdy edge) and mash into cheese filling. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Fill beets with filling and broil for about 2-5 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn (in a toaster oven, it may take longer, like closer to 10 minutes).
  4. Top with yogurt or silken tofu, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.



January 2015



How to Use it Best – Winter Edition

Written by , Posted in How To, Storage/Prep


It’s no secret that I love to roast veggies. I’ve been known to roast anything from beets, to peas, to cabbage. But, not all veggies are alike. And not all veggies act the same when they’re thrown into a pot of boiling water, sautéed in a skillet, or roasted in the oven.

Here’s some of what I’ve found to work (and sometimes not work), in my experience as a home cook.

In Soups


I use potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, and rutabagas interchangeably in soups. They respond similarly, and, unless I know that one or the other might not pair well with another of the soup’s components, if I have one, but not the other, I’m going to use what I have. Same thing with broccoli and cauliflower – I find them similar enough. And when it comes to soups, I’ll usually add as many veggies as I can. Starting with the harder veggies (think roots like carrots and beets), then adding slightly softer guys (hello broccoli and cauliflower, maybe even cabbage, and herbs like rosemary and thyme), and adding more delicate greens and herbs at the end (kale, chard, dill, parsley).

Cooking 101 – One of the keys to adding things at the same time is to make sure they’re chopped/diced/cubed the same size as all the other components. This will ensure that someone doesn’t burn, while someone else is still raw. This goes for any method of cooking.

In Salads


I love lots of different textures in a salad. I will often combine a nice butter lettuce with tuna, a hard boiled egg, some chopped nuts, croutons, dried fruit, and grated or chopped veggies.

I prefer to grate hard root veggies like carrots and radishes. If you’re ok with raw beets, grate them too. But, you can also roast for salads. Roasted beet chips and crispy potatoes are some of my favorite salad toppers.

Cooking 101 – If you want to tame a spicy radish a bit, grate it. You won’t bite into a big chunk of burning, if that’s not what you were hoping to get from your salad.

In the Oven


As Fries

I love to cut potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and winter squash into sticks to make fries. Mostly, because I want to dip them in yummy sauce.

In Smaller Pieces

A head of broccoli or cauliflower cut into bite sized chunks, some cubes of potato, winter squash, or sweet potato; wheels of carrot, one inch pieces of beet all make a great side when roasted. Just toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper before they head into the oven, and you’re good to go.

Cooking 101 – The stem of the broccoli doesn’t need to be discarded. Simply peel the tough outer layer, then slice the inner portion and use as you would the florets.

Roasting Whole

Beets are my favorite to roast whole. Recently, I’ve discovered that it’s best to put them in a pan, with about a cup of water, then tightly cover with foil. They will take about an hour (for small-ish beets) at around 425F, and maybe 10 to 20 minutes more if they’re larger.

Obviously, potatoes are kinda famous for being roasted whole. Sweet potatoes are the same story. You can leave them as they are, or wrap them in foil if you want. If you’re gonna do the foil method, before you wrap them up, drizzle them with some olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, so the skin is extra tasty. I like things extra tasty, so I’m all over the oliveoilsaltextrayummyskin.

And there’s the winter squash, which technically I don’t roast whole, I cut them in half, but they’re so huge that I think they count. Sometimes, when I have a whole bunch on the counter I will roast them all, then scrape the roasted flesh out of the skin and freeze it. It makes soup prep incredibly easy. (And, save this tip for summer: I do the same thing when I have loads and loads of eggplant.)

Cooking 101 – You don’t have to peel beets before you roast them. Once they’re soft, leave them to cool slightly (covered or uncovered, I haven’t noticed much of a difference either way), then using gloves, a paper towel, a paring knife, or your fingers, peel the skin off – it should be pretty easy (and oddly satisfying).

On the Stove Top



I find that most veggies respond pretty well to steam. By this, of course, I mean veggies that are meant to be eaten cooked. I probably wouldn’t steam lettuce… although at the moment, that’s the only one coming to mind that I wouldn’t… But, you know, use your judgement on this one.

Some of my favorites to steam are: carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans.

I prefer steaming over boiling, because I think the veggies retain more of their nutrients.

Cooking 101 – Save leftover steaming or boiling water to cook pasta, or to make veggie stock with the scraps that would have gone in the compost.


My Oma always boiled the potatoes for special dinners. They tasted great. I know that boiling is the way people often cook potatoes when they’re going to be mashed. When I took that cooking class in Paris, that’s how we boiled the potatoes. It’s a tried and true method. And you can really pop quite a few veggies in a bunch of really hot water and get good results. Just beware that if you leave them too long, they can become water-logged and mushy, and may just fall apart in the pot (and then you adapt and pretend that you’d always planned to make soup).

Cooking 101 – So that you can save the boiling water for pasta cooking or stock, use a slotted spoon to pull out the veggies, rather than just dumping the water out. Or, if you don’t have anything else to cook, let the water cool completely, then take it outside to water your plants.


Aren’t veggies just so versatile?! I mean, we’ve gone from roasting, to steaming, and now sautéeing, and there are some veggie-friends that are good with any option. So, I’d say, that things like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, are an easy yes. If you want to do potatoes, carrots, parsnips… you know, the harder roots, that’s awesome too, just smaller pieces, and plenty of time. And then, if you want to go with the more delicate greens, like kale, chard, mizuna, mustard greens, and spinach, you’ll start with what feels like way too much, and end up with the perfect amount. If you’re starting with some harder veggies, once they’re a few minutes from being done, add the greens. They won’t take long and add a lot to a dish.

Cooking 101 – Don’t throw away those beet greens! They’re delicious sautéed, in salads, and in soups.

However you prepare them, have fun with your veggies!



March 2014



How To Cook Beets

Written by , Posted in How To, Roasting, Vegetables


I haven’t always loved beets. They’ve been one of those foods that I’ve had to grow to even like. But, now that I know how to prepare them, I enjoy eating them, and even crave them.

Right now I’m craving a Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad that I’m planning to make later today.


Are you craving beets?

If you are, my first suggestion for when you finish reading this post is to go and make this Mache and Citrus Salad or Roasted Beet Salad. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did.

Since you’ve probably made extra beet chips for the salad (to eat right off the pan, right? Just me? Ok.), I would suggest saving them to make a simple and delicious pasta.

Then, if you have any beets left, I’d make some borscht.

And you thought you didn’t like beets. Wait, that was me.


Beets are awesome.

“Everybody loves beets.” – Dwight K. Schrute

Beets can be cooked in so many different ways. Like most vegetables, I prefer them roasted and a bit crispy. They’re also delicious roasted whole, so they get soft and tender, or in small, bite-sized pieces, to be dunked in a creamy sauce.

When roasting beets, I might peel them first, so they can be chopped small, or made into chips. I wouldn’t recommend trying to peel these after roasting. However, if you’re roasting whole or halved, you can let them cool a bit, then peel. The skin should come off suuuuper easily.


Same goes for steaming or boiling.

Hey, if you’re going to boil, after you’ve removed the beets, what if you added some white vinegar to the water and saved it to dye Easter eggs!?

Or, throw in the beet peels and whatever other veggie scraps you have on hand and you’ve got homemade vegetable stock in about an hour.


However you cook them, beets are a simple root, and can be dressed up to suit the occasion. They’re super dense, so they will take a while to soften. Do not be dismayed, they will eventually cook.

Roasted Whole/Halved/Quartered


  1. Scrub well. Halve, quarter, or place whole on a baking sheet. Pierce a few times with a fork. Roast at 350F for about 60-90 minutes (or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy).
  2. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Remove skin.

Beet Chips


  1. Scrub and peel beets. Thinly slice.
  2. Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until beets are slightly crispy and tender.
  3. Remove from oven and cool.



  1. Scrub well. Quarter and place in a steamer basket in a pot with boiling water. Steam for about 20-25 minutes, or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy.
  2. Remove from steamer and let cool.
  3. Remove skin.



  1. Scrub well.
  2. Quarter and place in a pot of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and boil for about 20-25 minutes, or until the beet is easily pierced by a fork, but isn’t mushy.
  3. Remove from water and let cool.
  4. Remove skin.

Handling beets makes for red fingers. Beware. 😉


Happy Beeting!



March 2014



Turnip and Potato Gratin

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Potatoes, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian


How many ways are there to cook turnips?

I mean, there’s the usuals: roasting, sautéeing, adding them to stew.

Um, but what about thinly slicing them and adding them to a potato gratin?

Sound fun?


I don’t usually peel my veggies. I don’t feel like I need to (unless they’re too tough, then it’s cool). There are lots of nutrients found in their skin, so I like to keep it on. (If you can’t stand the peel, there are still plenty of nutrients on the inside, so it’s definitely better to peel and eat than to not peel and not eat at all.)


I love honey and thyme. They’re one of my favorite duos right now.

Thyme, honey, and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce will compliment the turnips well. And the turnips will compliment the carrots, who will compliment the potatoes, who will… ok enough.


My mom had a set of baking dishes like this when I was growing up (she probably still has them). So when I saw this one at a yard sale I had to have it. I like having things in the kitchen that remind me of family.

The thick cheesy sauce is spread between the layers of veggies. As it bakes, the veggies will finish cooking, and everything will meld into one tasty dish.

I wonder if I have any left in the fridge. It sounds really good right now.


Lemons totally brighten things up. I mean, not just their great color, but their wonderfully fresh citrusy flavor. It seemed like a good idea to squeeze a lemon slice over top before enjoying. 

It was.


Last thing to note: if you have picky eaters who “think” they don’t like turnips… Tim said he didn’t know there were turnips in this dish, sooooooo yeah… 😉


Happy Eating!

Turnip and Potato Gratin
Recipe Type: Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Roasting, Steaming
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 medium potatoes, halved
  • 2 medium turnips, halved
  • 4-5 small (or 1-2 large) carrots, whole
  • water, for steaming
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C milk (almond, cows, a mixture, or any other kind that you enjoy)
  • 1 T honey
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 3/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 C reserved)
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Place the veggies in a steamer basket in a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 20-25 minutes, or until they are par-cooked. Let cool slightly, then thinly slice.
  3. Heat a medium sized pot or skillet over medium or medium-low heat. When it’s hot, add oil, then whisk in flour. Let it bubble for about 30 seconds. A bit at a time, whisk in milk, letting it thicken a bit between each addition. Stir in honey, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and let it thicken for a few minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  5. Place a layer of veggies into a greased 8×8 ovenproof dish. Spoon a bit of the cheese sauce over the layer. Repeat until all veggies and sauce are gone. Top with the reserved cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.




February 2014



Veggie Pizza with Artichoke Hearts

Written by , Posted in Baking, Cheese, Dinner, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pizza, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Things I learned today:

The smoke detector will go off when the oven is at 500F and there’s a pizza stone in there.

Artichokes may be best on pizza.

When I’m tired I type things like, “Almost anything is better when it tastes like garbage.”

I like one of these two lessons. No, two of them. I still can’t stop laughing at the garbage line. And I like that almost anything is better when it tastes like pizza.


Take artichokes for example. Sure, they’re fun to eat steamed, grilled, boiled and then dunked in dip. That’s a good thing. But, I wondered to myself the other day if they might not be even better on pizza.

I think they are. It may be my new go-to way to eat them.


Carrots on the other hand, can be used in about a million different ways, and are delicious in all of them. I mean, you can make them into cake for goodness sake! (And I made a rhyme… cool.) How many things can you eat raw and in a cake and call them both extraordinary?


Rosemary compliments the artichokes and carrots. Lemon zest and juice are added to tomato sauce to make a tangy, citrusy pizza. Everyone is topped with some Gruyère and Parmesan cheese. Yep, you’re welcome.


One of the day’s lessons came when I was following the recipe in Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food for pizza dough. Her recipe says to pre-heat the oven to 500F with a pizza stone in there. I was gonna prepare the pizza on the pizza peel and slide it onto the hot stone. But, our smoke detector is in our kitchen (since our kitchen is a part of the living room), so it started screaming at me. I know that pizza stones can smoke, but I didn’t want the noise to continue. So, lesson learned. For as long as we live here, with this particular kitchen, I will not be using a pizza stone.

I used a regular pizza pan and it worked out just fine. Plus the noise stopped.


The artichoke hearts were steamed before they went on to the pizza, which makes them tender and delicious. The lemon gives them a good citrusy kick, and the rosemary brings an earthy balance to each slice. The carrots, well, they seem to get along with everyone, so they’re there, in the background, sharing a little bit of sweetness.

All in all, a great new way to use artichokes… or maybe just new to me. You might have been doing this all along. Sometimes I need to catch up. Especially on a day like today when my brain has not brought it’s A game. I blame the olympics. They keep me up way too late.

Happy Eating! 

Veggie Pizza with Artichoke Hearts
Recipe Type: Pizza, Main Dishes, Vegetarian
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Serves: 2-4
  • 3 large artichoke hearts (choke removed), halved (save leaves to steam and eat)
  • water
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 3/4 C gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Pre-heat oven according to your favorite pizza crust recipe.
  2. Place artichoke hearts in a steamer basket in a pot with about 1″ boiling water in the bottom. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until artichokes are tender. Roughly chop and set aside.
  3. To make sauce: Combine tomato sauce with rosemary, seasonings, lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Roll out pizza dough.
  5. Top crust with sauce, cheese, veggies, and a little more cheese.
  6. Bake according to crust recipe until crust is crispy and slightly browned and cheese is melted.
The sauce is enough for 3-4 pizzas. Freeze any leftovers for next time!