Vino Pair

My Account

Beets, Feta Cheese, Parsley, Vinegar

Beets, Feta Cheese, Parsley, And Vinegar

Another amazing flavor affinity with thousands of recipe combinations includes beets, feta cheese, parsley, and vinegar.  

 BEETS

Beets are prehistoric. Originally, only beet greens were consumed until we learned how to dig. It was not until Roman times that the sweet beet root meat we think of today was eaten.

Tweet This - “Sweet Beet Root Meat”

Some foods offer benefits, but beets are in a class of their own. Beets are a member of the chenopod family, which also includes chard, spinach and quinoa. The nitrates in beets, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body, relax and dilate blood vessels, thus improving blood flow and subsequently reducing blood pressure. The nitric oxide also provides the body with a boost of stamina for low and high-intensity workouts. Could consuming beets be the secret to #BeastMode? The inflammatory reducing chemical, betaine (BEET-ah-een), a colorless, crystalline, water-soluble, sweet-tasting alkaloid, is also found in beets. Betaine is also used in certain treatments of depression.

Beets - Image Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicehenneman/

Your body has it’s own detoxification system and betalain antioxidant pigments, the red coloring or pigment in beets, support phase 2 liver detoxification. Whoa? What the heck is that?

First off, let’s first understand the function of the liver. Toxins enter the body in a fat soluble state, which is hard for the body to excrete. Phase 1 detoxification in initiated by the liver and the toxic elements are reduced to less toxic byproducts in most cases. Next, in Phase 2 detoxification, the toxins are bound to other molecules in the liver making them water-soluble so they can be excreted from the body. Oh that makes sense now. If that’s not enough, beets also have trytophane (trip-tuh-feyn) (found in chocolate), which contributes to a sense of well being. Tragically, however, beets suffer from a steady loss of betalain when they are cooked or roasted, so it’s advised to keep cooking time to a minimum in order to maximize a beet’s bonus.

One way to achieve maximum betalain is through pickling beets.

Video - Rick Field and Martha Stewart show how simple it is to pickle beets.

Did you know Beets Are Nature’s Viagra? How? Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones. In fact, ancient Romans believed that beets and their juice promoted amorous feelings. People - eat your beets!

PARSLEY

The word “parsley” is derived from the Greek word meaning “rock celery” (parsley is a relative of celery). It grows all over the world and there are 30 varieties. But who knew parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food?

Often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative restaurant garnish plate growth.

French Parsley - Image Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/rplessl/

Seems like the Romans knew about everything. However, it was the ancient Greeks who held parsley to be sacred. They used it to adorn victors of athletic contests and also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. The practice of using parsley as a garnish actually has a long history that can be traced back to the civilization of the ancient Romans. So, we have the Romans to blame for the leafy stuff on our plates.

Ready for the huge list of health benefits for parsley? 

  • Parsley is one of the least caloric herbs. In fact, 100 grams of fresh leaves (about a 1/4 pound) is just 36 calories. That's a lot of parsley. Additionally, its leaves have zero cholesterol and fat, but are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
  • Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart. 
  • Parsley can be made into a tea that when consumed relaxes muscles and encourages digestion.
  • The essential oil, Eugenol, present in this herb has been in therapeutic application in dentistry as a local anesthetic and anti-septic agent for teeth and gum diseases.
  • Parsley is the richest herbal source for vitamin K.
  • Parsley’s herb leaves are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
  • Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain. That’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. However, the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney and gall bladder problems.
  • The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

  • Where does it end with Parsley? Is there a catch? Yes. One. Parsley should not be consumed in large amounts or as a drug or supplement by pregnant women. The essential oil in its root, leaf, or seed could lead to uterine stimulation, bleeding and pre-term labor.  

    After reading about all the health benefits of parsley, your probably itching to grow and harvest your own parsley.

    Video - How to grow and harvest parsley correctly.

     Did you know Parsley is the world’s most popular herb.

     FETA CHEESE

    Crazy to think Feta cheese is one of the world's oldest cheeses. It's been made in Greece and other Balkan countries for centuries.

    Feta is a brined (salt-water soaked) white cheese made in Greece from sheep's milk. Its flavor is tangy and salty, ranging from mild to sharp. The earliest references to cheese production in Greece date back to the 8th century BC. Similar technology is used today to create feta cheese.

    Feta Cubed and Crumbled - Image Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/lexnger/

    Feta is so popular in Greece that very little gets exported. In fact, most of the imported feta cheese comes from Italy.

     Did you know Feta Cheese occupies 70% stake in Greek cheese consumption.

    Many countries, nowadays, produce some form of feta cheese, including Australia, Denmark, Germany, and of course, the United States. However, modern-day, less robust versions may be made from cow's milk, skimmed milk, or partially-skimmed milk and are more firm.

    Video - Learn how to make feta cheese in your own kitchen.

    VINEGAR

    Vinegar is acetic acid and water. The levels of acetic acid can vary from 4% - 20%. Vinegar is commonly used in food preparation, in particular in pickling processes, vinaigrettes, and other salad dressings. It is an ingredient in sauces such as mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise.

    Vinegar is not only useful for cooking, it’s useful for health purposes, cleaning, garden care, hygiene, and much more. In fact, a jug of vinegar is easily one of the most economical and versatile remedies around.

    Video - 10 ways to use vinegar you've never thought of.

    There are lots of different types of vinegars:

    Apple Cider Vinegar - It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and Yeast are added to the liquid to start the fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria. Acetic acid and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (appears brown and murky) also contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. Bragg Apple Cider includes the mother. Typical store-bought vinegars are pasteurized, so the acetobacter has all been killed.

    Balsamic Vinegar - Is a dark, sweet Italian vinegar that has been matured in wooden barrels. The real balsamic, which is produced in Modena and Reggio regions of Italy, can sell for as much as $200 an ounce, or the cheap stuff can sell as low as three dollars for a 16 ounce bottle. But how can one vinegar offer such a dramatic price range? Traditional balsamic includes whole pressed lambrusco or Trebbiano variatels, cooked, aged in five or more smaller aging barrels (batteria) and offers notes of honey, fig, raisin, and caramel; a smooth, lingering taste; and an aroma like fine port, traditional balsamic is good enough to sip like liqueur. Each barrel is made from different types of woods that add flavor. The vinegar is aged like sherry wine or port wine. The cheap knock-off balsamic vinegars have added caramel colors to make them appear aged. If you are looking for a tell-tell sign of traditional balsamic vinegars verses knock-offs, looks for the word “tradizionale” on the label.

    Beer Vinegar - It's another name for malt vinegar. Fish and chips would not be the same without it. Malt vinegar is made by malting barley, brewing it into ale, and then turning the ale into vinegar. Malt vinegar is excellent for use in sweet-sour marinades and chutneys, as well as pickles. Malt vinegar makes a great gastrique or simple salad dressing mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs.

    Cane Vinegar - Cane Vinegar is made from syrup from sugar cane. The cane is harvested, crushed to extract the juice, simmered down into a syrup, and the syrup fermented into vinegar in a two-fold fermentation process. Fine brands age the vinegar in oak barrels to increase the nutty flavors. It has a mellow flavor like malt vinegar, with an added freshness in the mouth. It is not sweet, but it is less harsh than distilled vinegars.

    Champagne Vinegar - You guessed it. Champagne vinegar is produced using champagne grapes, which typically includes chardonnay or pinot noir variatels. One of my favorite uses for champagne vinegar is to smoother oysters with champagne-vinegar mignonette. Champagne vinegar can be added to other vinegars or olive oil to make amazing marinades and salad dressings.

    Fruit Vinegar - Fruit vinegars are made with fruit wine. The most common fruit wine flavors include apple, blackcurrant, raspberry, quince, and tomato.

    White - White vinegar is made from grain and water. With a clean, crisp flavor, it's ideal for your marinades, salads, and recipes. Also, due to its mild acidity (5%), it is a great all natural helper around the house for cleaning and other chores and, due it it's low cost, at a fraction of the cost of chemical based products.

    Wine - Wine vinegar is either made from red or white. Cooks use vinegar for many purposes such as; pickling, deglazing pans, marinating meats, making sauces and is found in certain desserts. Red wine vinegar is commonly used in the Mediterranean countries, being a common staple in most French homes. There are several different qualities of red wine vinegar. The longer the wine vinegar matures, the better it is. Most red wines can be matured up to two years. White wine vinegar is a moderately tangy vinegar that French cooks use to make Hollandaise and Béarnaise sauces, vinaigrettes, soups, and stews. It's also an excellent base for homemade fruit or herb vinegars.

    Jugs of vinegar at a stall in the Naschmarkt in Vienna, Austria. Image Credit - https://www.flickr.com/photos/atelier_tee/

    What does Google know about beets, feta cheese, parsley, and vinegar? A quick check of Google Trends shows all four food items are popular, comparatively speaking, and are growing in popularity year-over-year.

    Check out these (12) recipes that combine beets, feta cheese, parsley, and vinegar.

    Quinoa, Beet and Feta Salad

    Beets, Three Ways

    Chopped Beet Salad with Feta and Pecans

    Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad with Feta, Pulled Parsley, and Cumin Vinaigrette

    Roasted Beet and Feta Cheese Salad

    Quinoa Salad With Corn, Feta, Beets and Parsley

    Beet, Celery, Feta, and Kasha Salad

     

    Chopped Beet Salad

    Roasted Beets with Creamy Feta

    Roasted Beets with Feta

    Roasted Beets with Feta Cheese and Hazelnuts

    Roast Beets with Feta, Scallions and Parsley

     

    Now - What Wine(s) To Pair With Beets, Feta Cheese, Parsley, Vinegar recipes. It's an acid on acid challenge, but these recipes balance the acid. For this to work well, I need your feedback and need you to share the results of your food experiments.

    Wine Paring Recommendations For Recipes With Beets, Feta Cheese, Parsley, and Vinegar.

    FOWLES - Riesling Strathbogie Ranges Stone Dwellers - 2014
    Australia

    Tasting Notes:

    This Riesling is pale straw in color. With aromas of orange blossom and lychee, the palate is full of lively tropical and citrus fruits that leads to a clean, crisp finish with great length of flavor.

    Fresh and refreshing, with finesse to the pear, rose petal and resin flavors, hinting at lime as the dry finish lingers.

    PENNER-ASH - Viognier - 2014
    Oregon

    Tasting Notes:


    Aromas of peach, stone fruit, and white flowers with tropical notes. Dense and creamy texture with green pear-skin, honeydew melon, tart peach and exotic spice on the palate. Summer fruits along with fresh honeysuckle extend to a crisp finish.

    Polished, silky and expressive, layering pear, lychee, floral and rose petal flavors on a generous frame, lingering on the expressive finish.

    Roederer - Estate L'Ermitage - 2007
    California

    Tasting Notes:

    Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L'Ermitage cuvée. This cuvée is showing great notes of apricot tart and hazelnut. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped citrus acidity and long finish.
    Ruggeri Giustino B. - Prosecco Superiore - 2013
    Italy

    Tasting Notes:

    Subtle highlights of jasmine flower and stone fruit. The bouquet is nuanced but it is also powerful in terms of its pristine sharpness and focus.
    Mionetto - Cuvee Sergio Prosecco - 2014
    Italy

    Tasting Notes:
    A balanced, smooth and refreshing sparkling wine that is ideal for any occasion, thanks to its moderate alcohol content and versatility. It is best served with simple light fish or vegetable dishes. It is an excellent aperitif accompanied by savory tarts or more delicate finger food such as shrimp vol-au-vent.
    Argyle - Brut Rosé - 2011

    Tasting Notes:
    Its color is bright, pale salmon pink, while its bouquet is full of rose petal, anise, and pink peppercorn. The barrel aging of the red wine component contributes to its savory complexity, while its delicate, creamy bead leads to a long textural finish.


    >> Try some of your own pairings and share the results using the hashtag #PairAndShare. 

    References / Research

    About Parsley - WhFoods.com
    All About Vinegar - Food.com
    Balsamic Vinegar - Wikipedia
    Beets Are An Aphrodisiac - Pbs.org - Tori Avey
    Benefits of Beets - Lovebeets.com
    Feta Cheese - Wikipedia
    Feta Cheese - Cheese.com
    Fruit Vinegars - Instructables.com
    Health Benefits Of Beets - Mercola.com
    Health Benefits Of Parsley - WebMD.com
    Surprising Benefits Of Parsley - Care2.com
    Vinegar - Wikipedia
    Vinegar Mignonette - Epicurious.com

    Leave a comment