Sunday, 31 May 2015

beetroot three ways...

Digging over the vegetable patch in preparation for planting we unearthed a few beetroot from last year's crop and plans to cook these burgundy brutes were made.

First of all washed, peeled and grated.  Fortunately I'd just bought a machine to grate the beetroot after my food processor passed away last year.  Even with a machine to do the hard work the kitchen looked very colourful by the time I'd finished.
Beetroot Soup (Tomato Borscht) 
from New Covent Garden Soup Company's 'Soup & Beyond'.

  25g(1oz) butter
 1 small onion finely chopped
 1 garlic clove crushed
  225g (8oz) raw, grated beetroot
  1 tsp ground cumin
  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  225g (8oz) ripe tomatoes skinned 
  & chopped (or use tinned)
  275ml (1/2 pint) tomato juice
  1 tbsp tomato puree
   570ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  1 tbsp soy sauce.
1..Melt butter and cook the onion, garlic and beetroot gently in a covered saucepan for 10 minutes.
2.  Add spices, tomatoes, tomato juice and stock - bring to the boil then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.
3.  Add the soy sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.
4..Cool then puree/blend.
5.  Serve hot or chilled, topped with greek yogurt and chives.

Beetroot & Poppy Seed Loaf Cake - from Diana Henry's 'a change of appetite'
  3 large eggs

  225g ( 8oz) soft light brown sugar
  100ml (3 1/2 fl oz hazelnut oil
  200ml (7fl oz) olive oil
  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 150g (5 1/2oz) regular wholemeal flour)
  50g (1 3/4oz) wholemeal spelt flour
  pinch of salt
 3/4 tsp baking powder
  3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  finely grated zest of an orange
  2 tbsp poppy seeds
  2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  225g (8oz) raw, peeled and grated beetroot

Oven temp: 180 deg C, 350 deg F, Gas 4.  Baking tins:  two 22 x11 x 6cm lined loaf tins.

1.  Beat the eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until pale and light.
2.  Stir in the oils, vanilla and whisk on the lowest speed.
3.  Mix in the flours, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and orange zest.
4. Stir in the poppy seeds, hazelnuts and beetroot.
5.  Pour into prepared tins and bake for 40 minutes.
6.  Reduce heat to 170 deg C, 340 deg F, Gas 3 1/2 and cook for a further 20 minutes or until a    skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin for 10 minutes.
7.  Top with icing made from icing sugar and orange juice and a sprinkling of poppy seeds.

Although the batter is bright fuschia the cake bakes to a 'normal' colour and I think that anyone unsuspecting would be hard pressed to identify beetroot as a key ingredient.  This is a beautifully moist cake.

Prickly Green Beetroot Salad 
(which contains nothing prickly or green - see the reason for the name at the end).

   2 large raw beetroot, peeled and grated
   1 large onion finely chopped
   110g (4oz) sultanas
   2 tbsp sunflower oil
   1/2 tsp dried basil
   salt & pepper
   juice of 1 lemon
  This couldn't be simpler - mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

The recipe found in Sarah Brown's 'Vegetarian Kitchen' comes from the actress Kate O'Mara and the salad is named after the village where Kate lived.

This book is from the 80's when fresh basil was unheard of (certainly where I lived) but I'm sure you could use fresh rather than dried basil.  However, I continue to use dried as I think the salad will last a little longer in the fridge - whereas fresh basil might go slimy.

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