A moment ago we were still enjoying the carefree warmth of long summer days and suddenly the nights are turning long again. By late afternoon the shadows already begin to creep up. By early evening an inky blackness has spread. And as every child knows danger lurks in the dark; monsters, ghouls and unimaginable horror. All of a sudden it is Halloween again – the marker of the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death.
Time to usher in the winter season and to celebrate an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle.
Kick off your Halloween party with these elegant little “blood” shots as appetizer. To stay in the theme serve them with some black grissini.
Should you have already had your Halloween celebrations there is no need to wait until next year to enjoy this little treat. These beetroot shots are a stylish amuse for any dinner party – great for the festive season that is right on our doorstep. (Although in that case I would leave out the plastic spiders….)
Not only do these little shots look stunning and taste fantastic, they can be prepared ahead and can either kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for up to a month in advance.
(I have made these shots for years and have no idea where I found this recipe or who I have to thank for it)
About 1 liter which makes 20 glasses of 50ml
Optional: black plastic spiders
1 bunch (15g) fresh tarragon
200ml yoghurt (use a liquid
2 red onion
3 tbsp light brown sugar (NL: gele basterdsuiker)
75ml red wine
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 liter vegetable stock (hot)
500g cooked or roasted beets*
- Bring some water to the boil and pour over the plastic spiders to clean them.
- Chop the tarragon and blend all but 2 tbsp with the yoghurt.
- Optional: place a spider half-way in each ice cube.
- Spread the yoghurt in an ice cube tray, cover with cling film and allow to freeze.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Place the onion in a pot and add the sugar. Cover with a lid and cook for 10min on a medium flame. Keep the lid on the pot and shake once in a while.
- Add the red wine and vinegar. Cook until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
- Peel the beetroot, cut into small cubes and add to the pan.
- Pour in the hot stock.
- Add the 2 tbsp of tarragon you reserved. Allow all to cook gently for about 15min.
- Blend smooth using an (immersion) blender.
- Pass the puree though a fine meshed sieve.
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup in small (shot) glasses with an ice cube.
- To store: The soup can be cooled and kept in the fridge for a few days. Alternatively it can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. Remove from the freezer a day before serving to allow to defrost in the fridge. Heat for 5min on a medium flame.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
I prefer roasting beets but they can also be cooked. Heat oven to about 200C (400F) Wash the beets. No need to peel. Fold a large piece of aluminum foil double. Place the beets on top and rub with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap the foil loosely around the beets make sure the foil is closed well. Roast the beets for 40-60 min or until a knife pierces the beets easily. The beets keep in the fridge for up to a week.
More Halloween party treats