Honey-glazed beets

Serves 4 as a side dish

We serve these beets on a bed of garlic-honey yogurt, but they are also fabulous on their own, tossed with pasta, or made into a bruschetta on wood-grilled bread spread with ricotta. If your beets come with their tops, roughly chop the greens and stir them in at the end of cooking.

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1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch salt

1 pound beets, peeled and cut into wedges or quarters, depending on size

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon honey (try a floral honey like raspberry flower honey)

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup toasted, chopped pistachios

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey, and garlic. Set aside.

In a large skillet, combine vegetables, oil, honey, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until beets are tender. This will take about 15–20 minutes, depending on the age and size of the beets.

When the beets are tender (they can be easily pierced with a fork, but shouldn’t be falling apart) remove the cover and add the orange juice and zest. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the beets are just starting to brown and are shiny and glazed.

Spread yogurt across the bottom of a serving platter or 4 individual plates. Top with the beets and then with the pistachios.

Honey-garlic chicken

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1 pound skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4 serving-sized pieces if needed

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

⅓ cup flour (more, if needed) for dredging

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

⅓ cup honey

2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce

Place flour on a plate, season with paprika, salt, and pepper.

Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 minutes a side, or until golden.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, honey, vinegar, and fish sauce.

Continue to cook chicken until glazed with sauce and cooked through to 165°.

Honey ice cream

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This recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, is a delicious change from good ol’ vanilla. Wildflower honey makes a delicious ice cream, but for a real pop of flavor use a strongly flavored honey like buckwheat or conifer honey. The honey is added at the end of the custard-making. Honey is gently acidic, and adding it too early could cause the base to curdle.

Makes 1 quart

5 large egg yolks

¼ cup sugar

1½ cups whole milk

Pinch salt

1½ cups heavy cream

½ cup (6 ounces by weight) honey

In a large bowl whisk yolks and sugar together well, until sugar is dissolved into the yolks.

Pour the cream into another large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

In a medium saucepan bring milk and salt to a simmer. Pour warm milk slowly over the yolks, whisking the entire time. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring with a rubber spatula, until mixture is thick and coats the spatula.

Pour the contents of the saucepan through the strainer into the cream. Stir gently to combine, then whisk in honey.

Chill well overnight and then freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bee’s Knees cocktail

Makes 1 seriously strong cocktail

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This classic cocktail dates back to Prohibition. The honey and lime juice likely helped to mask the flavor of bathtub gin! Today, make this drink with a smooth modern Plymouth-style gin (these gins highlight more subtle aromatics and leave the juniper in the forest). Try adding a thyme or lavender sprig to the shaker for a different take on the classic.

¼ cup (2 ounces) gin

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Swirl the shaker to melt the honey into the lemon juice. Top with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass.