Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Beetroot – something a little different…

In the summer I went biking in the alps and was lucky enough to stay at a chalet hosted by an ex-River cottage and Heston Blumenthal employed chef (White Room MTB if anyone is interested). Every afternoon we would return to find cake ready and waiting for us and the beetroot chocolate cake below was so good I had to ask Matty to put it up on his blog!

Beetroot brownie cake

Ingredients for the cake – This makes two 8-inch cake tins:
125 g dark chocolate (70% or over)
125 g unsalted butter
2 whole eggs
125 g caster sugar
1 large grated beetroot
95 g flour
40 g pure cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs Butter & flour for greasing your cake tins or use baking paper.

Method:
Pre heat your oven to 175°c. Grease and line 2 x 8 inch cake tins with butter and flour or baking paper.

Gently melt butter and chocolate together using a double boiler or a microwave until melted.

Meanwhile using an electric mixer whip the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

Pour the melted butter and chocolate mixture into the whipped eggs and continue beating for about a minute.

Then grate a large beetroot into the mixture and stir until all incorporated.

Sift in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until all incorporated.

Divide the mix into both cake tins and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes depending on your oven. When the cake is ready it will be soft but not a raw liquid wobble if you know what I mean. If it’s still batter keep it cooking.

Once cooked take out of the oven and let it cool on the side until ready to garnish.

This cake is good as is. However covering anything with cream and more chocolate will always be better 😂😉

Assemble as you like and enjoy. Bon Appetit! Xx

From https://www.mattygcooks.com/post/beetroot-brownie-cake

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pink Pickled Turnips (or Spanish Radish)

Dishes of pickled turnips often accompany the mezzes at a Middle Eastern restaurant (or, probably, a Middle Eastern meal). Salty and pink, they are easy to make at home. You can substitute those confusing giant Spanish black radishes for the turnips, if you still have some of these in your fridge. The lovely pink colour comes from beetroot.

The ratio of turnip to beetroot is approximate.

You can sterilise jars by placing clean washed jars in a 130C oven for 20 minutes. Switch the oven off and leave the jars inside until needed. Alternatively, pour boiling water over clean jars and leave until you’re ready to use them.

Image from https://azjewishpost.com/files/2019/03/turnips.jpg 

Pink Pickled Turnips

Ingredients

500ml water

3 tablespoons salt

1.5 kilos turnips or Spanish black radishes, or a mixture

250g beetroot

3-4 cloves of garlic

Handful of celery leaves

A few bay leaves (optional)

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns (optional)

2 cups white vinegar

Preparation

Boil the water and salt together for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Peel the turnips or radishes, and the beetroot, and cut into wedges. (The size does not matter a great deal; cut them into the size you’d like to eat.) Peel the garlic and cut each clove in half.

Layer the turnips (or radishes) in sterilised jars, packing some garlic, celery leaves, and optional bay leaves and peppercorns in between each layer.

Combine the vinegar with the water-and-salt mixture and pour this over the vegetables. Poke the vegetables down with a spoon to ensure there are no air pockets and that the vegetables are fully submerged. Seal the jar—Sally Butcher recommends putting a layer of clingfilm over the top before sealing if you’re using a metal lid—and leave for at least 2 weeks and up to 6 months.

Recipe adapted from Sally Butcher, Veggistan: A Vegetable Lover’s Tour of the Middle East (2011).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Beets and onions, French style

We seem to have had a huge haul of beetroot this year, so I’ve been looking for recipes to make use of this. I tried this one last week, but my housemate had just moved out taking all the kitchen equipment with him so mine ended up a little strange with orange chunks instead of zest, and hand rolled pastry… It was still great though! I added a little wensleydale to offset the sweetness but leave this out and the recipe is vegan.

Beetroot & red onion tarte tatin

Ingredients:

400g beetroot, cut into wedges

1 red onion, cut into wedges

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 star anise

flour, for rolling

500g block puff pastry (there is a vegan Jus-Rol)

1 orange, zested

peppery green salad, to serve

Method:

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a bowl, toss the beetroot and onion in 2 tbsp of the oil, the vinegar and sugar. Add the star anise and season well. Heat the rest of the oil in a large, ovenproof non-stick frying pan (normal ceramic dish worked fine for me), then nestle in the veg so that they cover the surface of the pan. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 45 mins.

On a well-floured surface, roll the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm and cut out a circle the same size as your frying pan. Carefully take the pan out of the oven, remove the foil and wiggle the beets and onion around in the pan to make a compact layer. Put the pastry on top, tucking it in all around the edges, then return the pan to the oven and bake for 35 mins or until the pastry has puffed up and is a deep golden brown.

Slide a palate knife around the edge of the tart, then put a plate on top of the pastry, serving side down. Flip the pan over to turn the tart out onto the plate – be careful not to burn yourself with the handle. Top with the orange zest and a sprinkle of sea salt, then serve with a peppery salad on the side.

From https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/beetroot-red-onion-tarte-tatin

Rob’s tarte tatin

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Beet and Kohlrabi soup

Welcome to Rob Liddle – the new addition to the weekly update, meaning we now have a recipe creator team!

Rob says: Next week’s share contains beetroot and kohlrabi, so I’ve chosen the soup recipe below (I’ve been looking for something new for lunches for a while!). The recipe makes 4 servings but can be scaled to suit share sizes.

Beet and kohlrabi soup

Ingredients
4 small-medium red beetroots diced (0.5cm pieces)
2 medium kohlrabi diced (0.5cm pieces)
1cm fresh ginger (peeled)
4 cups (~1L) water
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Salt to taste
Dash of lime juice to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Put beetroot, kohlrabi, ginger, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until beets are fork tender.

Transfer soup to a blender. Add spices and lime juice. Purée on high until creamy and smooth. Return soup back to the pot. Add more water if soup is too thick.

Add olive oil and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste.

Serve hot or cold topped with some chia seeds, and chopped toasted peanuts.

Recipe and photo taken from: https://www.natalieshealth.com/beet-kohlrabi-soup/

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: A Summer ‘Slaw

Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, is having a break during July, and so newly joined member Pip Smith has stepped forward to tantalise our tastebuds in Rebecca’s absence. Here’s Pip’s first recipe for us:

Beetroot, cabbage and spring onion in the veg share this week? It can only mean one thing…….slaw! I’ve been looking at lots of coleslaw recipes and it seems to me the general theme is either vinaigrette dressing or creamy mayonnaise/Dijon or horseradish. Pretty much anything can go into a slaw as long as there is a nice bite and balance of flavour in the main ingredients.

I’ve chosen a vinaigrette and will follow the rule of equal oil to vinegar. I’ve chosen not to massage the vinegar into the cabbage though this could be worth experimenting with to break down the fibres and change the texture.

Ingredients:

1 small cabbage
4 baby beets
2 – 4 spring onions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Optional 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method:
Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove core, then slice thinly.
Peel the beetroot then grate.
Trim and slice the spring onion
Put the oil, vinegar, mustard if using, salt and pepper into a lidded glass jar and shake.
Put the the slaw mix into a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

For a tasty addition you could toast some seeds and sprinkle on top.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salmon, Beetroot, Egg and Greens

Warm herb-coated salmon in a winter salad of potatoes, beetroots and sharp greens, with hard-cooked eggs. The fish is cooked in a way that makes it extra-moist.

The recipe has a lot of separate steps but it’s very easy and you can prepare almost everything in advance. The result is delicious and beautiful, so it’s a fine choice if you’re entertaining. The only thing you need to do after your guests arrive is put the fish in the oven 30 minutes before you’d like to eat.

Serve with lots of good bread and a bottle of white wine for a luxurious weekend lunch. When I made it last week we had poached pears for pudding, which rounded things off nicely.

Wild Salmon Salad with Beetroot, Potato, Egg and Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4.

A US cup measure is 8 fluid ounces.

Ingredients
For the Salad
500g beetroots, more or less
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, zest grated first
500g potatoes, more or less
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 extra-large eggs
½ cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons dill, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
¼ cup parsley, minced
1kg salmon fillet in one piece. The recipe calls for wild salmon and if you can find that it is indeed tasty.
200g salad leaves, or more if you like a very leafy salad. Rocket and other sharp-tasting greens are best. In the summer you can use dandelion.

For the Dijon Vinaigrette
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 200C.

For the vinaigrette
Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with the mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste. You might not use it all; the extra can be kept in the fridge for at least a week.

For the beetroot
Toss the beetroot with 2 tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin with a splash of water, cover with foil, and roast until tender then poked with a fork. How long this takes will depend on the size of your beetroot. Small ones will cook in about 30 minutes; very large ones could take over an hour. When they’re done, let them cool, and then peel them, and cut into bite-sized chunks. Season with 1 tablespoon of oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper.

For the potatoes
While the beets are roasting, prepare the potatoes: cut the potatoes into 3cm chunks (approximately), or leave whole if they are tiny. Toss in a roasting tin with one tablespoon oil, the thyme, and some more salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Leave to cool and then mix them with some salt and 2 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

For the eggs
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and carefully lower the eggs into it. Turn the heat to low and simmer for exactly 9 minutes. Remove the eggs and plunge them into cold water to prevent their cooking any further. When they are cool, cut them in half. Season them with a little salt and pepper.

For the salmon
Mix the lemon zest with the shallots, herbs and 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl.
Put the fish skin-side down on an oven-proof rack set over a baking tray or roasting tin. Pat a little of the herb mixture onto the non-skin side of the fish, turn over, and pat the remainder onto the skin side. Season with salt and pepper. You can now leave the fish in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. Just take it out an hour before you’d like to eat, so that it comes to room temperature.
When you are ready to cook the fish: Preheat the oven to 120C and boil a kettle of water. Pour the water into a shallow pan in the bottom of the oven, to create a humid environment in your oven. This will make the fish moist and custard-like. Put the fish, on its rack and tray, into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. It’s done when it starts to separate into flakes. The centre should be slightly translucent. Try not to overcook it.

To assemble the salad
Scatter the salad leaves over a large serving platter and drizzle with ¼ cup of vinaigrette. Nestle the beetroot and potatoes amongst the greens. Arrange the eggs on top. You can do all this in advance, so that all remains to be done is add the warm salmon.
Once the salmon is cooked, use your hands to pull the warm salmon into chunks over the salad. Drizzle with another ¼ cup of vinaigrette, season with a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve. The additional vinaigrette can be served at the table in case anyone wants more.

Recipe adapted from Susanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Luques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table (2005).

Recipe of the Week: Spiced and Roasted Beets

This week’s recipe comes from share member, Judit Juhasz, with lovely warming spices as a delicious addition to a winter staple – ideal for anyone who has an abundance of winter roots! Thanks for sharing it Judit!

Roasted beetroot and apple in balsamic vinegar

This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver, but I’ve changed it around a bit to my liking. It is also very versatile because instead of apples you could use other root veg like celeriac or parsnips and carrots. You can also change the amount of the beetroot and apples if you want to make less or more.

Ingredients

400 g beetroot
400 g apples (on the sour side, it complements the sweetness of the beetroot)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
25 g butter
300 ml balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. I make this in my cast iron pan as it makes it easier to transfer to the oven straight away, but you can sauté the veg in a pan and than transfer it into an oven dish to roast it in the oven.

Peel the beetroot and cut it into wedge sized chunks, roughly the same size as your apple wedges. I use the whole apple, as I like it rustic and the peel also protects it from the heat, but you can peel and core the apples if you’d like. Cut the apples into wedges.

Melt the butter in the pan and sauté the beetroot and the apples for 5 minutes. Add the spices and the salt, mixed it well and sauté for another 5 minutes until apples start to become soft.

Pour over the balsamic vinegar, toss the veg in it and transfer it to the oven or to an oven dish to roast. Roast it in the oven until the vinegar becomes a thick sauce, the apples are mushy and the beetroot is soft. You can test the beetroot with a fork or knife for softness.

It’s a perfect side dish to accompany your roast next to some spuds and with the spices it is also quite Christmassy. Enjoy!

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roast Anything with Anything Pesto

Roasted vegetables dotted with cheerful, green pesto. Delicious for a mid-week dinner. It’s nice served with brown rice, or any other grain you might have lying about, but it’s good on its own as well. I suspect it would be tasty tossed onto pasta.

Roasted Anything with Anything Pesto

Serves 2

Ingredients

Roast Vegetables

A mixture of root vegetables and/or pumpkin. For two people one of those little Canalside squashes, 2 medium potatoes, and 4 large carrots would be fine, for instance.
shell of a squeezed-out lemon, if you happen to keep such things around.
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste
Any twigs of thyme or rosemary that you happen to have to hand
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled

Anything Pesto

1 handful of packaged pumpkin or melon seeds, or pine nuts, or almonds, or a mixture. I think you could add sunflower seeds, as well.
1 bunch of any fresh herbs. A mixture is fine and the quantity isn’t crucial. I used a blend of parsley and a little dill.
any feathery carrot tops
Olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

Optional Toppings

Capers
hard cheese, grated or chopped into little cubes
Home-made roasted squash seeds (see below)
Yoghurt

Preparation

For the Roast Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Scrub the root vegetables and peel them if you prefer them unpeeled. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Ditto the squash or pumpkin, if you are using it. After you cut it open remove the seeds and set them aside for use in the pesto.

Place all the vegetables in a roasting tin and toss them together with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice the lemon shell into thin shreds and add this to the tray. Scatter any thyme or rosemary over the top. Place the unpeeled whole head of garlic in the tray as well.

Put the tray in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when you poke them with a fork. Toss them periodically so that they roast evenly.

For the Squash or Pumpkin Seed Garnish (if used)

Once you’ve put the vegetables in the oven you can prepare the fresh pumpkin seeds. Wash them carefully and pick out the seeds from the tangle of pumpkin fibres. Place the cleaned seeds on a baking tray and put them in the oven as well. Roast them for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. They should begin to turn golden. At that point take the tray out of the oven and toss the seeds with a little more olive oil and salt. Put them back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. They should now be crisp and toasted. Set them aside to cool. Nibble a few while you prepare the pesto.

For the Nuts or Seeds for the Pesto

Place the nuts or packaged seeds on a baking tray and put them in the oven to toast. Check them after about 3 minutes as pine nuts in particular burn easily. Once they start to turn golden remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.

For the Anything Pesto

Blend the herbs and carrot tops (should you have any) in a hand-held blender, or, if you are feeling energetic, pound them a bit at a time in a mortar and pestle.

Add about the toasted nuts/seeds, and blend/pound some more to make a thick, herby paste.

Find the roasted head of garlic and squeeze out the now-tender garlic from each clove. Add this to the pesto and blend. Thin the pesto with olive oil until it reaches the consistency you like.

Grate in the zest of the lemon. Juice the lemon and add some juice to the pesto, along with some salt and pepper. Add a pinch of pepper flakes if you like.

Now taste it: does it need more lemon juice? More salt? More oil? Adjust the flavours and consistency until you are pleased with the result.

To Serve

Arrange the roasted vegetables on a platter. Dot or pour the pesto over the top and garnish as desired with capers, cheese, or your home-made roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve, if you like, with a bowl of salted yoghurt on the side.

You can serve this together with rice or another grain if you like. Perhaps you have some leftover rice in the freezer?

(Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Guardian.)

Recipe of the Week: A British Twist on an Indian Classic

This week’s recipe comes from share member Xandra, who made a big tray of beetroot halva for Saturday’s social (along with 2 types of beetroot cake!).

Beetroot halva

Ingredients
1lb / 450g beetroot
1 ¼ pints / 700 ml milk
8 whole cardamom pods
5 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
3 tbsp caster sugar
1-2 tbsp sultanas
1 tbsp shelled, unsalted pistachios, lightly crushed

Preparation
Peel the beets and grate them. Puncture the cardamom pods, then put the grated beetroot, milk and cardamom pods in a heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring now and then, until there is no liquid left. Adjust the heat, if you need too. This boiling down of the milk with take at least half an hour (in this case 3 hours!) depending on the width of your pot.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low flame. When hot, put in the beetroot mixture. Stir and fry until the beets no longer have a wet, milky look. This can take 10-15 minutes.

Add the sugar, sultanas and pistachios if using. Stir and fry for another 2 minutes.

This halva can be served warm or at room temperature. If you want, serve with clotted or double cream on the side (although it is already very rich indeed!).

Adapted from Carrot Halva in Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Indian Cookery’

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Beetroot Curry with a Green Relish

Did you make any of the roasted curry powder from the recipe on 28 July? Here’s another opportunity to use it. Shreds of spiced beetroot mix with the flavours of curry leaf and coconut. Serve with rice and a peppery little relish for an uplifting dinner. If you have some of the curry powder to hand the whole thing comes together in well under half an hour. Making the curry powder will add about 15 minutes.

In case you didn’t make any roasted curry powder I’ve repeated the recipe.

You can get curry leaves from the Oriental Store on the High Street, or at Sandhu’s on Russell Terrace—just ask them and they’ll fetch some from the back of the shop. They keep for a long time in the freezer.

Beetroot Curry with Roasted Curry Powder
Serves 2

Ingredients
For the Roasted Curry Powder
1 tablespoon basmati rice (brown or white)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Beetroot
400g beetroot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
a spring of curry leaves
1 red onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 fresh green chilli
2 teaspoons roasted curry powder
1 tomato, sliced
150-200ml coconut milk

Preparation
For the Roasted Curry Powder: Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the rice and toast it for several minutes, until it starts to turn brown (or browner, if it’s already brown). Add the other spices and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to darken but are not getting burnt. Turn the heat down if necessary and stir regularly.

Remove from the heat and let it cool. Once it’s cool you need to grind the mix. You can either use a spice grinder, if you possess such a thing, or ask someone else to grind it for you in a mortar and pestle. The latter is hard work, which is why I’d recommend asking someone else to do it.

Put the ground spice mixture in a jar and label it so you don’t forget what it is.

For the Beetroot: Put the beetroot in a bowl and toss them with the fenugreek, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Set them aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot add the curry leaves and stir until they start to sizzle. Then add the onion, garlic and fresh chilli and fry for 5 minutes, until the onion is starting to brown.
Add the curry powder, stir, and cook for a few minutes, to allow the flavours to emerge with the heat.
Add the beetroot and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Mix in the tomato, and fry for another minute or so. Then add 150ml of coconut milk.

Turn the heat down a bit, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the beetroot is tender. If it looks a bit dry, you can add some more coconut milk. Check to see if it needs more salt, and serve, with rice and THIS refreshing relish:
Green Relish
Ingredients

1 cucumber, shredded on the coarse side of a grater
2 big handfuls of lettuce, OR fresh coriander, OR spinach OR anything else along these lines, shredded
3 spring onions OR half a red onion, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lime
salt, to taste
chilli flakes, to taste

Preparation
Put the shredded cucumber in a colander and set it to one side until you’re ready to eat so that some of the cucumber’s vast amount of moisture can drain away.
Mix the other ingredients in a bowl. When you’re ready to eat mix the cucumber into the bowl, check for seasoning, and serve.

(Recipe adapted from Rosie Birkett, Guardian 22 July 2017.)

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