Where did the last month go? If your life is anything like mine, it's vanished in a heart beat. During that month in my part of the world daffodils have burst into life, blossom is appearing on the trees, and spring lambs are bounding around countrywide. My overcoat wearing has almost become a thing of the past, and I'm guessing that it will only be another couple of weeks before I can say goodbye to winter boots for another 8 months. Yes, spring is definitely on the way.
In an entirely different part of the world, the owner and writer of the Enriching Your Kid blog has been completely oblivious to the fact that I've spent quite a bit of time poking around through her recipes in this last month. You see, it's Secret Recipe Club time of the month and this was the blog assigned to me. It was my mission to choose a recipe, make it in secret and post it along with everyone else in the Club on one glorious reveal day.
As its title might suggest, this blog is all about producing recipes which will fortify your kids with dishes that will strengthen their immune systems and stimulate growth. As such, you will find plenty of recipes here for interesting baby foods and school lunches.
Of course, there's plenty of other good, nutritious stuff, but since I don't have children, I thought I might have a bit of trouble finding a dish here that I would want to make. Wrong ... in fact I found almost immediately the dish I wanted to make - Beetroot Cutlets.
Now, if you live in my part of the world, when you hear the term beetroot cutlets, you might by thinking "what the heck"? You see, down here, a cutlet is usually a piece of meat attached to a long bone - such as a lamb chop.
But I knew immediately what the nature of this was going to be. When I was a kid, one of my favourite dinners was my grandmother's "potato cutlets". These were spicy, minced meat (usually left over curried lamb), encased in mashed potato, and then crumbed and fried until crispy. So I knew that here a cutlet was going to be some kind of rissole or croquette.
These beetroot cutlets are "spiced" up with a bit of ginger, garlic and curry powder (the original recipe called for garam masala, but I was all out of it), and I coated them with some panko breadcrumbs for a bit of crunch.
To finish things off, I served them on top of a spinach, lentil and goat cheese salad, with some spicy, caramelised walnuts, and topped them off with a dollop of raita (a combination of cucumber, yoghurt and mint).
This made a wonderful vegetarian meal. The cutlets had a great combination of taste and texture; and the salad was the perfect accompaniment, the earthiness of the spinach and lentils with the tangy, salty goat cheese providing a great contrast to the sweetness of the beetroot. The crowning glory is easily the spicy, caramelised walnuts.
I know when you look at this recipe you might think there's a lot of ingredients and steps. But, honestly, most of these ingredients are things you will likely have on hand already, and most of the steps involved here can be done well in advance - even the day before if you wanted. This is a great dish for turning very simple, humble ingredients into a meal that looks and tastes really special. Even the meat-eater around here declared that he'd pay good money for this dish in a restaurant. I hope you'll give it a try.
Spinach, Goat Cheese & Beetroot Stacks with Spicy, Caramelised Walnuts Recipe
Inspired by recipe from Enriching Your Kid
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
For beetroot cutlets:
2x medium sized beetroot, peeled and grated
1x small leek, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
1x clove garlic, minced
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2x medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
freshly ground black pepper
flaky sea salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
generous handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
sunflower oil for frying
For spinach, lentil & goat cheese salad:
1 cup brown lentils
4x generous handfuls of spinach, or mesclun salad leaves
150g goat cheese crumbled
juice of 1/2 lemon
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
For spicy, caramelised walnuts:
1x generous handful of walnuts
1 teaspoon curry powder
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 telegraph cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, and finely diced
flaky sea salt
3/4 cup Greek style natural yoghurt
dried mint to taste
Begin by making the cutlets. Heat a small amount of sunflower oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek to the pan, along with a generous sprinkling of sea salt. Saute for a couple of minutes before adding the ginger and garlic. As soon as the leek is softened (but not browned) and everything is fragrant, remove from heat. Tip into a medium sized bowl.
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool slightly before mashing.
Add the mashed potato to the leeks, along with the grated beetroot, curry powder, lemon juice and coriander. Taste and add flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking.
Use your hands to shape the mixture into patties, approximately 2cm (3/4 inch) thick. Coat them in panko breadcrumbs, and refrigerate for at least half an hour to firm up. You could even do this the day before if desired.
To make the raita, place diced cucumber in a small bowl, and sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt. Set aside for an hour or so, then drain off the liquid that has been drawn out of the cucumber. Add yoghurt, mix well, and add dried mint (or fresh if you are lucky enough to have it in season) to taste.
To make the salad, cook the lentils, place them in a medium sized pot, with plenty of cold water. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender. Drain and place in a medium sized bowl. While lentils are still hot, add lemon juice, a generous drizzle of olive oil and season to taste with flaky sea salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature. This is another stage that can be completed well in advance. Once cooled, toss with spinach or salad leaves and crumbled goat cheese.
For spicy, caramelised walnuts, drizzle a small amount of sunflower oil into a shallow pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts to the pan, and add the curry powder. Toss the nuts until they are well coated and allow them to toast for a moment or two. Add the sugar to the pan, and stir constantly until the sugar is bubbling and the nuts are thoroughly coated in the spicy, sugary mixture. Remove and allow to cool. Again this could be done in advance.
Pour a generous amount of sunflower oil into a shallow pan over medium heat. Add beetroot cutlets to the pan, and fry until crispy and golden all over.
To serve, place a generous amount of salad on a plate, and sprinkle a few of the spicy, caramelised walnuts around. Stack the beetroot cutlets on top, and drizzle over a little of the raita.
Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.
This sounds amazing!! Don't you love the fact that someone has no idea that another someone is lurking in their blog looking for a recipe to make? Great post! Great pick!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Karen. Yes, I do love that - though it does make you feel like a bit of a stalker at times :-)Delete
Sue, this is TOTALLY my kind of recipe and I LOVE your images, as always! I also wonder if my assigned blog partner knows how much I have been lurking on her blog before I choose what to make, so funny! KarenReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Karen. Yes, from what I've seen on your beautiful blog, I can just imagine you enjoying a dish like this. I know exactly what you mean, and I always find it so hard to resist the urge to reach out to my assigned partner and ask a few questions as I explore their recipes. Similarly, when I look at my blog stats and see one recipe or another that seems a bit random has been getting a bit of traffic, I wonder if it's someone assigned to my blog checking it out. The mystery of it all is great fun :-)Delete
Gosh you have taken my beet cutlets to another level! A whole meal! I'm going to promote this post in many places, so expect a lot of traffic from this part of my world too, my secret lurker! Can I feature this post on my blog? This recipe is very popular with the mom readers and I'd like them to know how you have dressed it up!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for such kind comments, Shirley. I'm very pleased that you feel I did your lovely recipe justice. By all means feel free to feature this post - I hope it will be helpful to your readers.Delete
What a beautiful salad, it would be perfect to serve at a dinner party. Great job on your assignment this month. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, April. Yes, this would be a great way of turning a few humble ingredients into a dinner party worthy dish.Delete
Oh my goodness *drool* I absolutely adore beets - they are one of my favorite veggies!! Love how fancy these look too :) Happy reveal day!ReplyDelete
I'm with you, Sarah - beetroot is one of my favourite veggies too. Especially since you can enjoy them pretty much all year round.Delete
Wow this is so unique! I just recently had beets for the first time and can actually understand how these flavors would complement each other nicely. Great pick!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lauren. Yes, beetroot, spinach, goat cheese, walnuts, and lentils are all extremely good bed-fellows, in just about any interpretation. The wild card twist here is the curry, which seems a bit weird, but actually works really well.Delete
This looks fantastic! I've never had beets before but this preparation looks like something I'd absolutely scarf down!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kim. If you've never had beetroot before, this would actually be a really good place to start, or a good way of getting people who are not that fussed on it to enjoy it.Delete
Great write up, great photos, and recipe!ReplyDelete
If only my beloved husband was not the anti-beet-extraordinaire! ;-)
Thanks, Sally. Actually, this is probably a dish that "non-beet-eaters" would probably enjoy. Only problem is there is absolutely no hope of disguising it - these babies are bright red, so you're never going to be able to say "no beets in here" :-)Delete
Gorgeous photos!! What a unique recipe - such a great combination of flavors and textures!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Rebekah. The combination of beetroot with curry flavours was definitely unique and new to me, but I loved it.Delete
Any recipe with beets is worth a try in my book! This looks delicious! Great pick this month ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Melissa. I'm with you - I'm always up for trying any new recipe for using beetroot that comes my way.Delete
Wow, these beet patties look amazing! I LOVE beets and have a ton in my garden that should be ready for harvest soon... I will definitely have to try these!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jess. Lucky you having a beetroot harvest coming up. We haven't quite put our seeds in the garden yet for our summer crop. Beetroot pesto is another great use for them when you have an abundance on your hands.Delete
Isn't Enriching your Kid a great blog?? I was blessed to have it a few months ago. Great choice, we are beet lovers in this familyReplyDelete
Yes, it is, Wendy. I've got a few of Shirley's recipes bookmarked to try in the near future.Delete
I love beet and sometimes my husband even eat them if I hide them well in salads. This beetroot cutlet looks so inviting served on a bed of salad. Gorgeous plating!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Angie. Probably not quite so easy to "hide" the beetroot in this dish :-)Delete
What a great dish, love every component of this!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Cheri, and thanks for visiting me again :-)Delete
Goats and beets are such a delicious combination. This salad looks amazing. Happy Reveal Day!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Emily. Beetroot and goat cheese is definitely a winner, isn't it?!Delete
Such a beautiful, beautiful salad! I am completely impressed with all of it! :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Avril - that's very kind. Thanks for stopping by :-)Delete
Ooh, this sounds wonderful! I love veggie "stacks" (I recently made some with tomato and jicama and these look great. Awesome choice for the SRC!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Amy. I love veggie stacks of just about any description too. I'm intrigued by your tomato and jicama stacks. Unfortunately, jicama is a vegetable we don't get in New Zealand.Delete
I adore beets, they are always gorgeous on the plate, and this is such a creative way to enjoy them!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sue. You're right, beetroot do always look gorgeous. That colour lends a bit of drama to any presentation, doesn't it :-)Delete
Whoa, does that ever look healthy AND delicious! Great SRC pick!ReplyDelete
I've never heard of beetroot cutlets before and I love beetroot especially in salads. This looks like a great vegetarian meal and healthy too! Great SRC pick.ReplyDelete