Pascale’s kitchen: beets galore

Beets are beautiful, nutritious, and sweet. This round vegetable, with its unusual color and texture, was recently declared a superfood, as it is rich in minerals, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and vitamin B.

Each community has its own special ways of preparing beets. For example, in Kurdish cuisine, you will find the popular kubbeh soup; in Eastern European cuisine there is borscht; and salads and beet spreads in North African and Sephardic cuisine.

The only problem is that beets are a bit cumbersome to handle as they are difficult to peel and require long cooking times to soften. Also, beets are incredibly dirty and stain everything that comes in contact with them red. On the other hand, this same quality makes cooking with beets so exciting, and they are great for adding color to bread, dough, pasta, and juices.

This week, I am bringing you four very easy beet recipes to prepare. The first recipe is Beet Kubbeh Soup, which comes from Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisine, and all families claim they make the best kubbeh. The outer part of the kubbeh balls is made from semolina and the filling is made from beef or lamb mixed with onion, herbs and spices. These balls are cooked in the beetroot soup. The outer semolina covering the meatballs should be thin, but not too thin. They should be thick enough so that they can keep the meat surprise hidden within the batter.

The second recipe is for beetroot stuffed with a vegan filling made from bulgur, herbs and hazelnuts. The stuffed beets are cooked in a sweet sauce that brings out the wonderful taste of the beets.

The third recipe is for a tangy, spicy raw beet salad. The dressing is made with olive oil and lemon juice, and you can also add balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, herbs, and garlic.

The fourth recipe is for beet carpaccio, which can be made with raw or cooked beets. All you need to do is add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salty cheese, and herbs.

Kubbeh beet soup (kubbeh shwander)
Makes 30 kubbeh balls.

Mass:
3 cups of semolina
1 ½ cups of water
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. Petroleum

Filling:
3-4 tablespoons oil
3 medium onions, finely chopped
½ kg of ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baharat
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 celery leaves, finely chopped

Kubbeh Beet Soup (Kubbeh Shwander) (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

TiPascale

It is best to cook the kubbeh balls just before serving so that they soften and absorb the flavor of the soup.

Cooking time is 20-25 minutes. Sometimes even 15 minutes is enough.

It is best to knead the dough well so that it softens. Then let it sit so it has time to absorb all the liquid.

Mix all the dough ingredients in a large bowl until the dough is well mixed. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until it is translucent. Add the ground beef and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the flame and add the spices and celery leaves. Stir well. Alternatively, you can add the filling ingredients in a bowl without cooking. You just have to know that if you choose the last method, the cooking time will be longer. Create 30 balls of the filling.

Take some of the semolina mixture in your hand and form a thin circle of the same thickness. Place a meat ball in each dough circle and roll into balls so that all meat is covered in dough. Place the kubbeh balls on a tray. You can get wet or oil your hands if they get too sticky.

Borscht

2 tbsp. Petroleum
1 onion finely chopped
4 beets (grate 1 of them and cut the other 3 into thin slices)
1 chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. Tomato paste
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baharat
½ teaspoon pepper
9 cups of water

TiPascale

To soften the beets:

You can cook the beets in water or wrap them in foil and bake for an hour in the oven.

You can buy vacuum packs of cooked beets at the grocery store. Very small beets are great to use in salads, but if you are making stuffed beets, choose only large beets.

I recommend using raw and peeled beets in salads, as they have a very strong color and flavor.

Sauté the onion in a large pot until it turns transparent. Add all the beets, tomato, and garlic. Stir and then add the water.

Stir then add the tomato paste, lemon juice, and spices. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the kubbeh balls and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Difficulty level: Half.
Weather: 90 minutes.
State: Meat.

Beetroot stuffed with bulgur, hazelnuts and herbs
Makes 6 servings.

    Beets stuffed with bulgur, hazelnuts and herbs.  (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Beets stuffed with bulgur, hazelnuts and herbs. (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

6 medium beets baked for 90 minutes (or vacuum packed beets)

Filling:
¾ cup bulgur, soaked in water and drained
¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup of ground almonds
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp. mint leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoon. pomegranate syrup
1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

sauce:
2 tbsp. pomegranate syrup
2 tbsp. silan
½ cup unsweetened blueberries
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Place the beets on your work surface, cut off the tops, and set aside. Using a melon spoon, scoop out the insides of the beets. (Use these pieces you cut out to make a beet salad.)

Place the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Fill the beets with the filling and then place the cut tops back on top.

Place the stuffed beets in a medium, flat pot that can fit easily. Add the pomegranate syrup, silan, blueberries, salt, and pepper.

Pour water into the pot so that it covers half of the beets. Shake the pot gently and then bring it to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until the sauce thickens. Drizzle the beets occasionally with the sauce.

Difficulty level: Half.
Weather: 40 minutes.
State: Vegan.

Spicy beet salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    Spicy Beet Salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Spicy Beet Salad (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

3-4 cooked beets (or vacuum packed beets)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup or vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 chives, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Cut the beets into strips with a serrated cutter. Place them in a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Difficulty level: Easy.
Weather: 10 minutes.
State: It seemed.

Carpaccio bite

    Beetroot carpaccio (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Beetroot carpaccio (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

This dish can be prepared with raw, boiled or baked beets. The most important thing is to cut the beets as finely as possible.
Makes 4 servings.

2-3 beets, peeled and thinly sliced
2 chives, thinly sliced
100 gr. salted cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon. honey or silan

Dressings:
2 tbsp. pine nuts, fresh or toasted
Mint leaves

Place the beetroot slices on a flat plate. Sprinkle chives and cheese on top, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and silan on top. Add pine nuts and mint leaves.

Difficulty level: Easy.
Weather: 10-15 minutes.
State: Dairy products.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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