Northern Michigan Food & Wine: As a child, Kristin Karam helped her Lebanese grandmother harvest mint, tomatoes, peppers and a jungle of other veggies from her rooftop garden located just behind Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “We’d be harvesting mint and watch the planes go over—I have such fond memories,” she recalls. Out of those early lessons of cooking “scratch” as her grandmother referred to it, Kristin developed a passion for discovering the way other ethnicities define what she now recognizes as farm-to-table cuisine. A business degree, a culinary degree and years of working in restaurants and cooking at home later, Kristin launched K2 Edibles, her personal chef and catering business headquartered at the Grand Traverse Commons, where she prepares exquisite dishes—from scratch. K2edibles.com.
Roasted Beets with Peaches, Goat Cheese and Fresh Mint Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6 people
2 pounds assorted local beets (can be baby beets, too!) 6 local peaches
1 small local red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons fresh local mint (usually about a bunch, leaves only)
3 tablespoons local honey
1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds, crushed
1 tablespoon Brownwood Farms Famous Kream Mustard
Juice of one lemon Salt and pepper to taste
Wrap whole beets in aluminum foil and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes, until fork tender. In the meantime, cut peaches into slices, crumble the goat cheese, and set in a bowl to the side. Cut the red onion into very small slivers, you may use as much or as little of this onion as you desire. The key is to slice it finely. Add to bowl.
Toss local mint, local honey, crushed coriander, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper into a blender or food processor, start the processor, and add the lemon mice while processing. I do not use any olive oil, usually the ice of the lemon and the pulsation of the processor make a great emulsion, no oil is needed.
Unwrap beets and let cool. Remove the skin by rubbing with a paper towel… they should easily come clean. Slice beets into medium cubes, add to the rest of the ingredients set aside in the bowl. Add mint dressing and toss all ingredients gently together.