As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June 2016 by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to devote my blog to Angelica’s lifestyle, friends, recipes and places where she lived during her long and interesting life. I decided to try today’s recipe beetroot keftedes because it is vegetarian and red. Vegetrain is to honor Angelica and red is to honor my website. These Greek-influenced beetroot fritters can be served hot or cold, accompanied by beetroot tzatziki. Serves 4. Ingredients: 200g fresh beetroot, cooked, peeled and coarsely grated 2 spring onions, finely chopped 3 tbsp parmesan, grated 240g feta cheese, crumbled 1 egg, beaten 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped 2 tbsp mint or parsley, finely chopped 220g breadcrumbs 60g plain flour Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying 1 lemon Salt and black pepper 1 Mix the beetroot, spring onions, cheese, egg and herbs together. Season, then mix in enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2 Shape the mixture into golfball-size pieces, adding a little flour if the mixture is too wet. 3 Season the flour and coat the balls in it. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking, and fry the pieces in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon. It is delicious!!!! Recipe from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia […]
As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to make the Beetroot Halva. I chose this recipe for two reasons. Firstly Angelica was very fond of sweets, secondly I collect ‘reddish’ recipes which always make an interesting entry for my blog. Halva is one of the most delicious dishes you can make with beetroot. Serves 4 2 large, fresh beetroot 1 litre milk 3 tbsp caster sugar 5 tbsp unsalted butter 3 tbsp raisins A small handful of chopped cashew nuts A pinch of ground cardamom 1 Coarsely grate the beetroot. Place in a large, non-stick saucepan with the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has dried off. It will take more than an hour. 2 Add the caster sugar and 4 tbsp of butter and cook, stirring, for another 15-20 minutes to help the beetroot caramelise. It will turn a lovely, deep red colour. 3 Meanwhile, gently heat 1 tsp of unsalted butter in a pan, then fry all the raisins with the cashews and a pinch of ground cardamom until the nuts are lightly golden. 4 Stir into the halva. Taste, adjust the sugar and serve hot. Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast by Anjum Anand (Quadrille). To learn more about Angelica read About Angelica.
As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to make the Beetroot and ginger chocolate brownies. I chose this recipe for two reasons. Firstly Angelica was very fond of sweets and chocolate, secondly I collect ‘reddish’ recipes which always make an interesting entry for my blog. Beetroot and ginger chocolate brownies These purple-hued brownies have an earthy taste and are a little fiery, giving you one of your five a day in a very wicked way. There is debate as to whether a brownie should be cakey or fudgy: these are definitely on the gooey side. Ingredients Makes 24 500g fresh beetroot 200 plain chocolate (70% cocoa) 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin 1 tsp vanilla extract 250g golden caster sugar 3 eggs 100g plain flour 25g cocoa powder 3 balls of stem ginger 1 Line a 20cm x 30cm tray with greaseproof paper. Simmer the beetroot in hot water until soft, then, wearing rubber gloves, slip off the skins. (I used precooked beetroots). Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 In a food processor, mix together the chocolate, hot beetroot, butter and vanilla extract until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. (As I used precooked beetroots which were cold, I first melted butter and chocolate for 3-4 minutes on a low heat, mixing it then in a […]
Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff by McFarland Publishers in September, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to Angelica, her friends, her leisure time and her ‘recipes.’ In point of fact, Angelica did not cook. For the majority of her life she was a vegetarian. She was not even interested in food. Nonetheless, her favorite dish was a vegetarian risotto, which her Italian friends used to make for her when she came over for a meal. I’m suggesting to try today a beetroot risotto. True this recipe did not exist in Angelica’s time. However, coming from Chernigov, today’s Ukraine, she was certainly familiar with beetroot, one of the most common ingredients of the Ukranian and Russian recipes. So I decided to combine both and make a beetroot risotto to honour Angelica. With its shocking colour and sound flavour, this dish is quite the exhibitionist. Keep it simple if that’s how you like it, but the optional toppings add layers of flavour. Serve as a main course, a starter, or as a lovely little extra alongside a bit of beef or oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel. Serves 2 250g fresh beetroot 2 shallots, peeled 2 garlic cloves, peeled 850ml chicken or vegetable stock 35g butter, plus a knob for later A splash of olive oil 175g risotto rice 80ml white wine A […]
This pink pick-me-up has some impressive restorative powers. The citrus fruit and the raspberries balance the sweet, slightly earthy taste of the beetroot juice wonderfully. Serves 4 8 clementines 2 large pink or red grapefruit 8 fresh beetroots (around 250g), leaves removed 1 large punnet of raspberries 1 large knob of fresh ginger Honey or maple syrup to taste 1 Juice the citrus fruit and set aside. 2 Push the beetroot, raspberries and ginger through a juicer. Mix the pressed juice with the clementine and grapefruit juice. 3 If it tastes too tart, mix in a spoonful of honey or maple syrup. Serve straight away. * From Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking: Scandilicious by Signe Johansen (Saltyard Books). published by The Guardian, Saturday 23 February 2013
The Spring season is quickly approaching. But it is still cold and humid. March is an excellent time to try out Borsch – one of the most well-known Russian soups. The recipes of Borsch vary. The main ingredient is beetroot, which gives borsch its famous red color. It is usually made with beef. However my preferred version is vegetarian borsch. It is still delicious and it is a bit simpler to make. As many Russian dishes borsch can be time consuming. Ideally you are supposed to start with boiling your beetroot until it is cooked. And it takes a long time. If you do not have all this time, you can buy cooked beetroot. Ingredients 1 Tbsp salt (or more to taste) 2 large or 3 medium beets 4 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp tomato sauce, or paste 1 Tbsp butter 1 medium onion, finely diced 2 carrots, 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, 1/2 head of small cabbage, 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced 2 bay leaves 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish 2 cloves garlic, pressed Garnish: Sour cream, parsley or dill, olives or lemon Preparation Grate (or thinly slice) beet-root and carrot, chop onions, slice potatoes (into bite-slices) and cabbage. Place grated beetroot in a large skillet with 4 Tbsp olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes, then reduce heat and add 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and sauté for another 10 […]
Boiled beetroot has inspired generations of haters. The problem is the process bleeds it of its vigour. But roasting concentrates the sweetness and produces a buttery root. Serves 4 4 medium fresh beetroot, trimmed and scrubbed 1½ tsp chives, finely chopped 1½ tsp tarragon, finely chopped 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 3 drops tabasco sauce 2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 230g skinless salmon fillet, bones removed, diced Pea shoots for garnish (optional) Salt and black pepper 1 Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Place the beetroot in a small roasting pan with 125ml of water. Cover and cook for about 1 hour, until tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool. 2 Peel and dice the beetroot. Transfer to a bowl and add half the chives, tarragon, mustard and shallots. Add half the lemon juice, all the tabasco, and 1½ tbsp oil. Mix well and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate. 3 Combine the salmon and the remaining chives, tarragon and shallots in a bowl. Add the parsley, and the remaining mustard, lemon juice and olive oil, then season to taste. Mix well, cover and chill. 4 To serve, take four 8cm baking rings and place them on your serving plates. Put a quarter of the beetroot tartare in the bottom of each, then top with an even layer of one quarter of the salmon tartare. Pat gently to compress. Remove the rings, and garnish […]
A tasty pink dip that’s also the perfect accompaniment to keftedes. Serves 4 1 large fresh beetroot, cooked 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed A dash of red wine vinegar 3 tbsp dill, finely chopped A dash of olive oil 250g Greek yoghurt Sea salt 1 Coarsely grate the beetroot and mix with the garlic, vinegar, dill and olive oil. 2 Add the yoghurt, mix well then season. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to infuse. From The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia (Kyle Books). Also pulished by The Guardian on February 23, 2014