Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your favorite ways to say goodbye to summer produce.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Mediterranean olive-oil braised green beans by Algis Kemezys: Oh, to have beans running up stalks in the yard -- Algis is living a frustrated city gardener's dream. But you don't have to grow your own beans to braise them in good olive oil with parsley, garlic and a touch of tomato for a staple of Greek/Turkish kitchens.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
Victorian strawberry cake by Linda Shiue: Linda's love of strawberries, which are in their last push for the year, goes back to her memories of girlhood, growing up near patches. Now, she's implanting that love in her children, by reaching even further back into history, sharing with us the recipe for Queen Victoria's favorite teatime treat.
Armadillo eggs by Theresa Rice: Behold: the snacking glories of sausage balls and jalapeño poppers in one! Yes, you read that right: cream-cheese-stuffed jalapeño-stuffed fried sausage balls. Someone's going to burn for this one, but I'm not sure who.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
A full late summer menu by Lucy Mercer: It's harvest time, and Lucy is celebrating with recipes for herb-and-honey-roasted chicken with grapes, plum crumbles and her new favorite way to crisp up okra.
Basil bounty by Lisa Kuebler: Pity Lisa's garden this year, which got fried by the sun early and never really recovered -- except her basil. So she's sharing recipes for what she's been enjoying all summer long: pesto, basil syrup, basil lemonade and BBT's -- Bacon, basil and tomato sandwiches.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
Last weekend, we made the case that the beet -- the humble, muddy beet -- has quietly taken over the Kingdom of Vegetables on the American table. Its main strategy was to get itself roasted to tender, sweet concentration, its earthiness giving grounding to classic partners like tart goat cheese and the long, buttery taste of nuts.
But as we've also noticed, beets have a lot of love for other flavors. From warm butter and ginger to oranges and olives to hearty classics like cabbage and carrots (as we've seen in several borscht recipes here on the Kitchen Challenge), their sweet minerality goes beautifully with so much.
So this week, share with us your best beet recipes and stories; when did you convert to beet love?
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC beets (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and absence of anything about letting the beet go on.