Beetroot is the bomb. Beetroot is awesome. Whether it be on a chicken burger with pineapple, or in a mixed salad, beetroot is the forgotten root vegetable. Do you want to know why? Because beetroot doesn't always come in a can. This is how you would usually find beetroot. Peeled, washed, cooked, pickled, in a tin with a pretty label. Be it cubed, sliced, whole or itty bitty baby version, it's still beetroot. It's still tasty. But it you can get it in other forms. TADA! You see that shit? It's got SKIN! It's raw! And it's freaking tasty. So you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to take this beetroot, plus a few of his mates, pickled and pure, and make the best freaking three-course meal you've ever seen. And it's going to be vegetarian. And it's going to be awesome. Beta vulgaris three ways [SUB][SUB][SUB]Hehe, vulgaris. that looks like the word 'vaginas'. *snigger*[/SUB][/SUB][/SUB] Entrée: Trio of dips with sourdough bread Ingredients There's a lot in there, but let's line them up into their specific dishes. Alright, we have: Code: [B]Beetroot Dip [/B] [B]Hummus[/B] [B]Guacamole[/B] Baby beetroots 420g chickpeas Avocado Greek style yogart 1 tsp garlic Sour Cream Lemon Tahini (or seasme seeds) Lemon Salt Pine nuts Pepper Lemon Salt All these dips are pretty much: put ingredients in blender: Blend. For the Beetroot dip: Cut baby beetroot into halves, add greek yogurt (to taste), blend. Yeah, it looks a bit messy, but a bit more blending and it evens out, and you can even serve it in a fancy dish. Be sure to wipe the edges, as we'll be serving this later, and the bits on the edges might go dry. Life's V. messy, ok? Soak it up with: ... erm.. Samson paper towels? (It's my mum's kitchen, alright? These are probably the Aldi version or something) (Sheesh.) For the Hummus dip: You can buy tahini, which is basically crushed sesame seeds and oil, or you can make your own by.. well.. crushing sesame seeds and mixing with oil. Like so. I didn't make all that much, about a tsp worth. Add the other hummus ingredients (MAKE SURE YOU WASH THE CHICK PEAS FROM THEIR CAN GLOOP) and blend. Vuuvv-vuuvv-vuuvv-vuuvv. Done. Simple. For the Guacamole dip: Blend avocado and sour cream and lemon and salt and paper (to taste). If you can't make an avo dip then there's something wrong. However, don't go overboard. I make about twice as much avo dip as the others, so there was only one use for it: Spread on toasted sourdough bread, add cracked pepper and lemon, serve with caffeinated beverage. Yum. For the Sourdough bread: Make your own bread, or buy some. Toast and cut into strips just before serving. Om nom nom. Final presentation Serve dips seperately, toast some pinenuts before serving and put on the hummus (so the pine nuts don't go soggy). I served it with some sliced capsicum too, for pretty colours. Main course: Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni, with beetroot salad Yes, I've written this one up before, but I think it's awesome enough to do it again. Ingredients Code: [B]Pasta[/B] [B]Filling[/B] [B]Sauce[/B] MYO, or 400g ricotta 3 fresh tomatoes use pasta sheets 150g parmesen 2 tins canned tomatoes 150g spinach 1 tub tomato paste 1/2 tub Philli cream cheese 1 brown onion Mozerella, as topping Garlic, salt, pepper What's that? SAUCE? Yes, we'll make our own sauce. It's piss easy, just as hard as making your own hummus. [derail] If you haven't noticed, I've making some things (hummus, pasta sauce, other things later) but "cheating" on other things (pasta sheets, sourdough bread). You can make everything yourself, but it's easier to make sauce/hummus as a once off than having to get a pasta maker or starter sourdough, etc.. yeah. You see where I'm going with that. [/derail] ANYWAY For the sauce: Chop onion, tomato, garlic; put in pot on low simmer; add canned tomato, tomato paste; simmer for a while. Season to taste. This is a basic tomato 'sauce', but it's far better than any canned stuff. You can add other things, like capsicum, etc; but Mother Dearest doesn't like capsicum, so I left it out. (I served it as optional dippers with the entrée. It was tasty). For the filling: Combine ricotta, parmesan, chopped spinach and Philli in a bowl. If using tubes, take a zip-lock bag, place filling inside, chop off a corner of the bag, and use as a makeshift pipping bag. I decided to use fresh lasagna sheets, cut to size. Line a baking tray with the prepared tomato sauce, and place tubes ontop. Cover with more sauce, top with mozzerella. Bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour, until the tubes (if starting from dry) are soft, and the topping cheese is browned. For the salad: You can be all fancy, and get your own ingredients, but the salad below is basically just 'leftovers': Unused baby beetroot, (cherry) tomatoes, spinach, avocado, and some of the pinenuts already toasted from the main. Serve with the cooked cannelloni. Final presentation There's 8 tubes in there, you only need about 2 tubes of this stuff to be satisfied, ESPECIALLY if it's part of a three course meal. Speaking of which: Dessert: Tall, dark, and handsome, with cream, jam, and dark chocolate gauche No, I'm not making an exotic, well-toned man for dessert, I'm making my 3rd place bakeoff cake, Chocolate and Beetroot muffins Ingredients Code: [B]Cake Mixture Sweetened Cream Ganache Jam [/B]250g beetroot, cooked 200g cream 100g dark chocolate 1 punnet strawberries 100g dark chocolate 1 tbs brown sugar 100g cream 200g sugar 125g butter 15ml lemon juice 250g brown sugar 50g cocoa powder 225g self-raising flour 3 eggs 1/4 tsp salt Jam? Make your own jam?, I hear you protest. Yes, jam is shiteasy to make. You've already made your own pasta sauce for crying out loud (unless you make it with jarred stuff, then you're a chickenshit), this is just as easy. For the jam: Crush/chop the strawberries. I'm using a Happy Chopper, from Tupperware. *happy happy chop chop* Done. Place in a pot with the sugar and lemon juice, and simmer for a while. It will get all thick and really nice, like. For the beetroot cooking: Peel and chop beetroot, boil (just like boiling potatoes) BOIL WITH THE LID ON. The steam is freaking red, I tells you. Also, boil them. On high. The stove I used went all the way up to eleven. Yeah. After the beets are cooked through, drain, let cool, then puree. Mmm.. beetrooty. In a separate bowl: Sift flour, salt and cocoa. In a separate, HEAT RESISTANT bowl: Put some water in a pot, set at 3/4's heat, and melt chocolate and butter together. In a separate bowl: Whisk sugar and the eggs. Be sure to use the happiest eggs in your carton. They love being beaten. Now, you should have 3 bowls, 4 if you put the cooked beetroot in a bowl: Put the ingredients into the bowl with the flour, bits at a time, ensuring you don't over mix them, but make sure there are no lumps. It will turn out a nice maroon colour. Go the Maroons at the State of Origin yayayayayay Pour into the muffin tray, making sure nothing is slopped over the edges (these burn. Gross) Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees, or until risen and not runny in the centre (a skewer test should let you check this). At serving time, coat with ganache, prepared earlier by heating 100g chocolate and 100g cream, with a 1/4 cup of sugar, and left to cool a bit (otherwise it's too runny). Use any left over ganache as pretty plate decoration. Also serve with cream, whipped with a bit of sugar, and the jam. Final presentation Om nom nom nom nom. (Any left over muffins can be zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds, and served with icecream. It's delicious.) So there we have it. 3 dishes, no meat, all with beetroot. And pretty darn tasty too. Larger images, and more pictures of the prep process, can be found on my flickr page.