Category Archives: Appetizer

Beet and Beet Green Gratin

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My March vegetable is beets! I don’t love them. They’re purple and sweet, and yeah. Sweet. Too much for me. But this is the beauty of this project – challenging myself to try some things. So I did!

Having been pretty unfamiliar with beets, I hadn’t even considered using the greens attached to them. But look how PRETTY. They weren’t bad.

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They also look quite different once you scrub ’em clean:

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I’m a bit behind on these posts, so I’m just going to cut to the chase. Overall, this was good. I had high expectations that weren’t quite met (because look at the photo from the original recipe), but my suggestions would be to add more cheese. Always. Add more cheese. I may have had a too-much-beet situation, but it seemed like there wasn’t enough of everything else. …Which means I had to much beet. Problem solved!

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Beet and Beet Green Gratin

Ingredients:
2 bunches (6-8) beets, with the greens (about 2 pounds beets and 3/4 pound greens)
Salt to taste
3 eggs
3/4 low-fat milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped chives (1 bunch)
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast the beets. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then cut the ends off, slip off the skins and slice across the equator.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens in two changes of water. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt generously and blanch the greens for about one minute. (You can also steam the greens until they wilt, one to two minutes). Transfer the greens to the ice water, then drain and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the greens. Stir together for a minute, season the greens with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Beat together eggs, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, chives and the Gruyère. Gently stir in the greens and beets. Scrape into the gratin dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until set and lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Original recipe found here.

Cauliflower, Cheddar, and Mustard Fritters

The veggie of the month is…. [drumroll please, and pretend you didn’t already see the post title]..

…Cauliflower!

Giving it a shot. First thing I found that looked good was this recipe for cauliflower/aged cheddar/mustard fritters. Now, I did forget the mustard, which I only realized post-frying. Too bad (though it would have been extra delicious). These were good anyway.

Just chop up some cauliflower, put some oil, salt, and pepper on it and roast at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or so. Once it cools, you blend it into a puree.

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Next step: boil milk and butter, whisk in flour until thick, add eggs one at a time. Fold together this mixture, the cauliflower puree, grated cheddar, and dijon mustard.

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Form about 1″ balls of this mixture, roll it in flour and fry in hot vegetable oil.

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If you aren’t using a deep fryer (I didn’t), make sure to turn them so all sides are browned.

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This recipe made more than 6 fritters.

Garnish with a little lemon zest, sea salt (If You’re Me, regular salt), and rosemary (IYM thyme) and voila. Fritters.

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Cauliflower, Cheddar, and Mustard Fritters

Ingredients:

1/2 large cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup milk
4 tbsp butter, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup aged cheddar, grated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkle with half the rosemary, season to taste and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden and very tender (40-45 minutes). Set aside to cool, then process in a food processor until smooth.

Meanwhile, bring milk and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, then beat until mixture is smooth and comes away from the edges of the pan (mine was verrrrry thick. I was worried, but it ended up being fine). Cool slightly, add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to combine, then set aside to cool. Fold in cheese, mustard, and cauliflower puree and season to taste.

Combine lemon rind, sea salt flakes and remaining rosemary in a bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan. Roll tablespoons of cauliflower mixture into balls, dust in flour and fry in batches, turning occasionall, until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with rosemary salt and serve hot.

This is basically Gourmet Traveller’s recipe.

Happy cooking eating!