Tag Archive: beetroot


As I said yesterday, I made beetroot leaf bread to go with the soup.

I have cooked with beetroot leaves before so I knew I liked them – and that they were generally edible. When I bought the beets for the soup, the stalks and leaves just looked way too delicious to throw away.

So I found a spinach bread recipe and modified it.

You need:

1 cup water

2 tightly packed cups of cleaned, stemmed beet leaves or spinach

4 Tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of butter

7g of active yeast. This is a pain – it seems yeast used to come in 7g bags cos all old recipes ask for multiples of 7g. It now comes in 10g bags so you waste a little. But at less than R3 a bag I guess its okay (ish)

1 egg

1 Tablespoon sugar. I used brown sugar cos that’s what I have at home.

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper

3 ¾ cups of flour. The recipe didn’t way what flour so I used 3 cups of white bread flour and ¾ cup of whole wheat bread flour. I guess cake flour might work too.

1 Tablespoon of kosher salt. I don’t; have kosher salt so I used course ground salt instead

Grated Parmesan

You do:

Wilt the leaves in the water. Take them off the heat and remove the leaves. Keep the liquid. Pour it into a bowl and add the 4 Tablespoons of butter. When the leaves have cooled a bit, squeeze out every bit of liquid you can. Add to the butter liquid mix.

Stir the yeast into the liquid and dissolve. Add the beaten egg, the 1 teaspoon of salt (the kosher salt is for later), the sugar and a twist or two of black pepper. Chop the leaves up quite finely and add.

Then add the flour and stir with a spoon until the dough pulls off the bowl. Have an oiled bowl ready. Take the sticky dough out of the bowl and put directly into the oiled bowl. Turn it once to get oil on all side and cover with cling film. Cover the actual dough and bot the edge of the bowl.

Leave for about an hour until it has double in size.

The recipe said this was enough for 6 over-sized muffins. I thought it was much much more. I made 6 large muffin and a small loaf of bread from the dough. Maybe over-sized muffin trays are larger than I know – but it is a lot of dough.

After an hour or so, tip the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Punch it down and fold over itself a few times. It is really quite sticky and because it is not kneaded this stickiness does not go away.

Place in the muffin tray or loaf trays or on an oiled baking sheet in a loaf shape. Sprinkle with the kosher, or course ground, salt and Parmesan. Cover and allow to rise again. And be warned – a lot of rising happens.

Bake at 190 for about 30 minutes.

I baked mine in an oven not my own and it wasn’t hot enough. So while the breads tasted great they were a bit pale. I am learning about baking still – seems bread is delicate even if it seems such a robust product.

The bread and soup were a hit at dinner – but I did only come 2nd!

Winning meal to follow

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So, Friday night was our taster menu meal, except the boys seem not to understand the term ‘taster’. I have seldom eaten so much in one evening!

 

I drew the veggie straw and decided to make a soup. I think soup can easily be a main course, and would work well as part of a taster menu. I wanted to be seasonal so I decided on beetroot soup. It seems beetroots like being in cold soup only but I decided, after consultation with my mother, to make a warm soup.

So I made beetroot and cumin soup.

 

You need:

 

500g of beetroot. I found baby ones – it was two Pick n Pay bunches.

600ml boiling water. This is to make the stock so if you use homemade stock just have as much.

1 large onion – sliced

250g sweet potato, peeled and sliced. In real life we buy potatoes by the individual and not weight. This was a medium sized thin skinned potato. I think it doesn’t matter if you have a bit more or less.

425ml milk

Ground cumin. I used a generous teaspoon

Butter

Salt and pepper

1 stock cube – only if you don’t use your own stock

Juice of half a lemon – about a tablespoon.

 

You do:

Boil the beetroot until cooked. I learnt a good trick for boiling beetroot. Cut the stalk off leaving that rough bit behind. Then, to check if the beets are cooked, rub a finger along one rather than poke with a fork. The beets are cooked when the skin comes off easily. If you don’t do the poking thing, less of the colour and flavour escapes.

Once they are cooked take the beets out of the water. Keep the water. Let me repeat that – Keep the water. Do not drain the beets into the sink and remember half way through you were supposed to keep the water. Peel them by sliding the skins off while still warm.

 

Cook the onions in the butter in a large saucepan until just turning colour. Add the peeled and sliced sweet potato . cook over a medium heat for a while and then add the milk, stock and cumin. Let this simmer until the potatoes are really soft.

 

Whizz the beets in a food processor with their cooking liquid. Then add the potato mix. It’s best to let it cool a bit or you may have splattered beet and potato mush on your walls. And I learnt not to over load the food processor with beet – a mighty mess was only just avoided.

 

Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with a swirl of cream and chopped chives or parsley.

 

I decided to get fancy and made bread with the beetroot stalks. Recipe tomorrow

risotto

I am home for a few days before dashing off again. Sigh – travel for work is so not fun. I worked out I have spent 2 of the last 7 weeks at home. Not sure why I even bother to pay rent here.

I came home to a largely food-free zone so I had to make dinner from what was in the cupboard. And lurking there was a box of Arborio rice.

Risotto has always seemed like something real cooks, or grownups, can make. Seeing as I am neither I have never tried to make it. But we needed to eat and it was in the larder – so off I went.

I found a recipe for butternut risotto and used that as a starting point. The bf is a great fan of beetroot so I decided to include that too. He is also tired of meatless meals so some chorizo was included. So I made roasted beetroot and butternut risotto with chorizo.

I stared by chopping the beets and butternut and roasting them. Beetroot takes forever to roast so I nuked the bits first to par cook them. They then went into the oven with the butternut seasoned and oiled, and left to cook til caramelised.

When the veggies were almost cooked I chopped and sautéed an onion in olive oil with some garlic. I also put a pot of stock on to heat – the recipe called for less than half the liquid I used in the end –  so I don’t really know how much I used.

Into the frying onion went the chopped chorizo and the rice. Stirring continued until the rice was all coated in the olive oil and in went a good glass of white wine. As soon as that was cooked away I stared the stock – stir – stock process that is risotto. It took about half an hour or so.

When the rice was creamy and soft I served with grated parmesan and the roasted veggies.

The only problem with risotto is that it is so filling there is never space for seconds.

I shall be exploring risottos for sure – the perfect autumn meal (even if very hard to photograph).