Bitter Veggies, Beets and Brownies Birthday Dinner. A Menu Worth Replicating

Hitesh loves beets, the rest of us don’t. He loves bitter veggies, the rest of us don’t. Hitesh’s birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity to make all the veggies that he loves that the rest of don’t care for much.

About the menu

It was Hitesh’s birthday last weekend and the kids and I were debating if we should make reservations at a nice restaurant for this occasion, but the girls pointed out that Dad will be coming back from a long week’s business trip and they assumed he would want to relax at home on his birthday on the weekend. So began the planning for a stay at home birthday dinner for Hitesh.

What I had in mind was a beet salad, a bitter radicchio and mushroom pasta, and brownies for dessert. Here is a look at our February birthday dinner menu.


Bitter Veggies, Beets and Brownies Birthday Dinner Menu

Roasted Beets and Baby Spinach Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms and Radicchio Pasta by Ina Garten
Rioja Spanish Red Wine
Dark Chocolate Brownies  
Vanilla ice cream

Roasted Beets and Baby Spinach Salad: Seriously folks, except for Hitesh our entire family hates beets – actually hate is a strong word – we don’t like beets.

When I made this beet salad the only takers were Hitesh and me (I made it which means I had to try it).  Rani our salad kid tried it too, and I have to say we absolutely loved it.

What makes the salad taste so good is the addition of garlic when roasting the veggies and the vinaigrette. Letting the roasted beets sit in the vinaigrette mellows out the beet flavor while adding a nice tang to the beets.

Roasted beet and baby spinach salad

Pasta with Radicchio and Mushrooms in Creamy Cheese Sauce: Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms and Radicchio Pasta by Ina Garten  I’ve saved this pasta recipe with radicchio for months waiting for an excuse to make it because I knew the kids wouldn’t like the bitter radicchio.

Hitesh’s birthday was the perfect time to make this dish as he loves bitter veggies and the kids had no choice but to go with it.

The only modifications I made to this recipe is using only 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil (instead of 6 tbsp butter), and I added 4 cloves of crushed garlic which gives the pasta great flavor (original recipe has no garlic, as Sri pointed out “How can an Italian pasta not have garlic?”).  

The bitter radicchio mellows out when it is cooked while the mushrooms and cheeses add their own unique flavors to the dish. The end result is a restaurant quality pasta that is decadently delicious.

Actually this makes sense because the recipe comes from Ina’s friend Johanne Killeen who owns an award-winning Italian restaurant in the Hampton’s. This pasta is outstanding. Even the kids devoured it!

Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms and Radicchio Pasta

Dark Chocolate Brownies:  This brownie recipe comes from my friend Rose who makes the moistest, gooiest, chocolaty brownies ever!  

I have to mention that in our ultimate wisdom we tried another brownie recipe from foodnetwork and it was a bust 😞.  Then I told the kids to make Rose Aunty’s brownies and her recipe turned out awesome!!👏👌 Dark Chocolate Brownies.

Dark chocolate brownies with cramel sauce

Give this bitter veggies, beets and brownie menu a try for your next special dinner or gathering.  It’s A menu worth replicating. 


17 thoughts on “Bitter Veggies, Beets and Brownies Birthday Dinner. A Menu Worth Replicating”

  1. Once you commit to acquiring the taste of beets their nutritional and energizing powers are amazing. Worst case the betacyanin makes a great purple dye.

    1. You are right, beets do have outstanding good for us vitamins, but I have a hard time with veggies that taste like dessert 😀 I have the same issue with carrots because they are so sweet.

      1. True. The high sugar content is a nuisance. What I do is consume vegetable root sugar then avoid carbs otherwise. When juicing these, use less than you think, as they are so potent with life goodies they are best used conservatively.

  2. Belated happy birthday dear Hitesh!
    I am sure you had a nice relaxing day, with your favorite foods!
    Nice salad and pasta! Love the brownies.

  3. Dear Kalpana, are you sure you don’t want to get into the restaurant business 🤔😊. For the record I love beets 😋 The dinner menu looks great. I love the fact that it’s a team/family affair to pull it off. Very inclusive. I guess s family that cooks together stays together ❤️ Hitesh, I’m sure you know how much you are fiercely loved and blessed by your remarkable family.
    Happy Birthday again 🎂

    1. I knew when I was typing “we dislike beets” would be a controversial statement 😀😀! Even my friend Rose said when I met her “I love beets, I didnt know you didnt like beets!” I felt like Geroge W Bush when he announced that he hates broccoli and the whole broccoli farming industry was in an uproar about it 😀.

      Thank you for your compliment on my starting a restaurant 😊. As long as the birthday boy was happy with his meal we were all happy 😊.

  4. I love beets so will be trying the salad for sure!😛. Radicchio is not one of my fave veggies either but the rest of the pasta ingredients sounds good! Of course, your photos make everything delectable so, yeah, there’s a great chance I will be using your menu sooner than later. Thanks for sharing!❤️ Belated happy birthday, Hitesh!🎂

    1. oops, I was debating if I should let the world know that I dont like beets 😀- the cats out of the bag 😀. You love everything Rose so I am surprised that you are not a fan of radicchio, but in this pasta the radicchio flavor melows out when it is cooked – I think you all will like it a lot.

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