After Christmas and New Year, I always feel extra parsimonious so I'm challenging myself to make the most of everything I buy in January. The humble beetroot is a good example of waste; how many of you chuck away the leaves and stalks? I used the bunch in the above photo to make 4 different dishes.
First I separated the beets, stalks and leaves and put the beets into a steamer and cooked them for 40 minutes. Once they were soft enough to be pierced with a knife, I fished them out to cool down and put in a layer of chopped stalks and then the leaves on top and left them to steam until soft - about 20 minutes.
The first recipe is a chocolate cupcake inspired by Claudia's Blog. I made a mistake while following her recipe for a chocolate soufflé cake and then played around with the recipe to include the beets.
120g dark chocolate
80g sieved self-raising flour
125g cooked peeled beetroot
5 pitted soft prunes
1 greased muffin tin lined with circles of greaseproof paper. (makes 10 small cakes)
Oven temp. 180 degrees C
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a saucepan of hot water
- Separate the eggs and beat the sugar into the yolks
- Chop the beetroot finely or puree with a blender and add to the egg yolk mixture. I put it all into a deep bowl and blended it with a hand-blender. Make sure the bowl is very deep though or you will have bright red beetroot up the walls.
- Chop the prunes finely and add to the egg mixture.
- Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled butter and chocolate and mix well
- Whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks.
- Fold the egg white into the chocolate mixture.
- Gently fold the flour and cocoa into the chocolate mixture.
- Carefully spoon into the cake tin and put in the middle of a 180C oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Test by gently pressing the top of the cakes or inserting a skewer.
These cupcakes are extremely rich and moist and keep well for several days. ( I hid one to test this out). No one who has tried them so far has been able to identify either the beetroot or the prune ingredient.
Peel and slice the remaining beets and dress with a tablespoon of olive oil, half a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of chopped dill, salt and pepper.
For the stalks, make a dressing with half a lemon's juice, a tablespoon of olive oil, a grated garlic clove, salt and pepper.
The leaves are tasty on their own with just salt and pepper and a dash of pomegranate molasses.
And how much was this versatile vegetable?
Just 1 Turkish Lira.
Warning - You may end up with a pink kitchen.