Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies

My daughter requested these brownies for a school lunch box snack.  We have tried two recipes which were both good but I really like the simplicity of this one, by The River Cottage...7 ingredients!! Ingredients 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes 250g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces 3 medium eggs 250g caster sugar A pinch of sea salt 150g self-raising flour (wholemeal ideally but white works well too) 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated

Method 1. Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment. 2. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven at 180°C and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt. 3. Stir, then put back in to the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. 4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. 5. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot – be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough. 6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. 7. Don't be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.

Source: The River Cottage

Beet Root and Cabbage Kraut

Ingredients1 medium cabbage 2 medium beets, peeled and grated 3 1/2 teaspoons fine-ground sea salt 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional) 1-2 teaspoons Caraway seeds (optional) Extra salt and water as needed for brine 1/4 cup whey (optional – It should be fine without this too)

Method 1. Finely chop the cabbage. As your chopping board fills up with cabbage, toss it into a large bowl (or pot). Add the grated beets on top. Sprinkle over the salt, garlic and carraway seeds. 2. Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and start scrunching the cabbage with your hands! As you go, mix everything together really well so that the salt, cabbage and grated beets are mixed together. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. If you tilt the bowl and move the cabbage out of the way, you should start to see juice collecting in the bottom of the bowl. 3. When everything has been mixed and scrunched really well, and you have juice collecting in the bottom of your bowl, you’re ready to transfer the contents to the jar that it will ferment in.

Note: It’s important to use a glass jar as opposed to a plastic or metallic container because the glass is non-reactive and won’t interfere with the fermentation process. Also, make sure you have a way of weighing down the contents while they’re fermenting. 4. Pack the contents into a jar tightly to remove as many air pockets as possible. If the juice does not cover the vegetables, make a brine (1 cup of brine = 1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup filtered water) and add enough to cover the vegetables.  Throughout the fermentation process, the vegetables will release more liquid too. 5. Add a glass (or you could use a glass jar) to weigh down the vegetables, which causes the level of the brine to cover the vegetables and keeps them all below the liquid. 6. Cover it and put it in away in a cupboard that is cool with an even temperature for a week. 7. Remove from the pantry after a week. It should have a nice crisp, tangy smell to it. The flavours will marry and mature over time - becoming less salty and more tangy with the sweetness of the beetroot shining through.

Barley Gratin with Beet Greens and Green Garlic

This is a healthy and delicious meal for a chilly spring day. The earthy flavor of beet greens combine well with the nutty flavor of barley and the green garlic contributes a lovely tang (but you can also use silver beet). Make the dish gluten free by using brown rice instead of barley. Ingredients 1 generous bunch beet greens or silver beet; stemmed and washed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots or an onion 3 cloves green garlic peeled and sliced salt, to taste 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 3 eggs 1/2 cup milk pepper fresh ground 1 cup barley or brown rice cooked 1/2 cup cheese, type of choice; grated

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Blanch the beet greens for one minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over 1 inch of boiling water for two to five minutes until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. 3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the barley or rice, and the cheeses. Mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. 4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from NY Times

Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad

Ingredients1 cup raw chickpeas 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash 3 carrots 2 beetroot 1 cup red quinoa balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 100g feta lemon thyme salt and pepper

Method 1. Night Before: Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night. 2. 1 1/2 hours before serving: Drain the chick peas and refill with water.  Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu.  Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. 3. Vegetables: While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes.  (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.) Peel carrots and cut into match sticks. Peel beetroot and cut into 1cm cubes. Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. 4. Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. 5. Quinoa: Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa.  Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock.  Cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft.  Place in a bowl to cool. 6. Marinade: 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme 1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper 7. Greens: Use seasonal greens.  Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna.  Rinse and spin dry.  This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have. 8. Remove vegetables from the oven and allow to cool. 9. Assembling: Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade.  As they cool, they soak up the marinade.  If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.

Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.

Place greens in bowl.  Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.

Creamy Beet Dressing

Cooking Time 30 minutesPreparation Time 5 minutes

Ingredients 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp minced onion 2 cloves garlic 1 tbsp rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar 1 tsp lemon juice 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil freshly ground pepper 1 large beet (1/2 cup) boiled until a knife pierces to the center easily (save cooking water)

Method 1.  Combine mayonnaise, onion, garlic, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar and beets in food processor. While processor is running, add oil in thin stream so mixture stays thick. Add as much beet juice as needed. 2. Stores for up to 3 weeks!!!!

NOTE: Since you are using a food processor-don’t need to mince onion or garlic too much! Saves time!

Source Penny Novak

Beet and Carrot Salad

This is a quick recipe (10 minute) that we make alot for farm lunches. Ingredients 2 large beets grated 2 large carrots grated 100 grams feta crumbled 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste

Method 1.  I use a food processor to grate the beetroot and carrot. 2.  In a bowl, crumble the feta.  Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and coriander. 3.  Add beetroot and carrot and mix roughly.  Serve over lettuce or as a side.

Beetroot Relish

I have two beetroot relish recipes that I like - One is spiced with cumin and ginger and not terribly sweet and the other has the wonderful flavour of balsamic vinegar.  They both store well if jarred warm into warm, sterilised jars and lidded with new lids, ensuring that when cool, the button on the lid has gone down. Beetroot relish is wonderful on sandwiches, with a spiced leaf and some feta or with turkey, aged cheddar, or a simple hamburger.  It also makes a lovely gift.

Recipe 1

I found this on the Trotski and Ash blog.  I like the flavour the brown sugar adds and that it is not too sweet.  They have a preserves tag with a few other recipes as well.

4 medium beetroots, peeled and grated finely
ginger, thumb sized knob peeled and grated finely
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground in a mortar and pestle
180 ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
a little salt
1. In a large heavy based pot, over a medium heat, combine ingredients and stir.
2. Turn the heat down and simmer for an hour and a half or until the relish is sweet, shiny and soft. Make sure to stir occasionally and add a little water if the relish becomes too dry.
3. When ready, put into hot, sterilised jars. Once opened keep in the refrigerator.

Recipe 2 This recipe was given to me by a friend.  The balsamic vinegar adds a lovely flavour. This is a sweeter relish.

1kg Beetroot, cooked
1 large Red Onion
1tbsp Olive Oil
100g Golden Castor Sugar
50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
50ml Red Wine Vinegar
100ml Balsamic Vinegar
1. Remove tops. Clean and scrub each beetroot. Wrap each in foil, place in a roasting tin and  roast in a 180oC oven until tender (for about 40-50 minutes)
2. Peel the beetroot then coarsely grate. Grate the onion as well, keeping it separated from the beetroot.
3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently sweat the onion for a couple of minutes before adding all of the remaining ingredients
4. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar
5. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. The pickle should be very thick, resembling pickled red cabbage
7. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars and seal
8. Should keep well for several months in a dark cupboard.  Once opened, store in the fridge


Beetroot, Feta and Almond Salad

This recipe is one of those that can be enhanced with seasonal ingredients like fresh oranges at the end of winter when there is tender young English spinach and new beetroot.  It is also wonderful in summer, made with balsamic vinegar,  when there are beetroot and lettuces.

Citrus Vinaigrette (or substitute in Balsamic Vinaigrette replacing basil with lemon basil or dill)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salad Bowl of greens (lettuce, arugula, spinach, salad mix, watercress, etc)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
100 grms Main Ridge Dairy feta or goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Remove beetroot tops and wash beets.  Coat with olive oil and wrap each beet  in foil. Place on a baking pan. Roast beets until tender, about 30 minutes to an 1 1/2 hours depending on size.
2. Cool beets; peel (the peel will just slip off - The red beets do stain) and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
3. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix lettuces, nuts, cheese and dressing in large bowl. Toss. Top with beets.

Roasted Parsnips, Beetroot and Carrots

Roasted Parsnips, Beetroot and Carrots This recipe is great with parsnips and also wonderful with potatoes.

Ingredients 5 parsnips -  peeled, root ends trimmed, cut into matchsticks 5 carrots - peeled, root ends trimmed, cut into matchsticks 3 medium size beetroot(red or golden or both) - peeled and cut into matchsticks 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt Freshly ground white pepper

Method 1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Try to cut all vegetables into matchsticks of even size. 2. On a shallow baking tray, toss the parsnips, carrots and beetroot with the thyme, olive oil, salt and white pepper to taste. 3. Place the tray in the oven and roast, stirring every 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and roasted, about 40 minutes.

Beetroot & Cream Cheese Dip

Ingredients1 garlic clove, crushed 2 large cooked beetroots, peeled 250mls cream cheese, room temperature (you can also use thick Greek yoghurt) 4 tsps red wine vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp horseradish(both are optional)

Method 1.    Wrap beetroots into foil and roast in the oven at 200 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (or until tender). 2.    Wash under cold water and peel off the outer skin. 3.    Grate beetroot into a sieve over the sink. Set aside for 5 minutes to drain. 4.    Finely chop fresh mint. 5.    In a large mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Then add the grated beetroot and stir well to combine. The dip will turn bright pink.