Monday, 16 July 2012

Sausages with Mixed Beans and Beetroot tops - Friday July 13th 2012

It can be lovely to try new things, especially frugal things that might otherwise be thrown away.  I was lucky to get a fabulously fresh bunch of beetroot at a farm shop today, with their leaves all intact, and good and perky.  I had heard somewhere that you could cook beetroot leaves & stems, rather like swiss chard.

The leaves are rather like spinach, and like spinach are often filthy dirty in their wrinkles - the farmers don't expect us to eat them, so will certainly not waste good time and money in getting the leaves clean. Strip the green leafy part from the stems, keeping the stems aside, and finely slice them and give them a good soak in cold water. Before cooking them, they will need several more washes in clean water each time.  Cut the stems into 2-3 cm pieces, and lightly boil these for a short while.

Make a lentil and bean stew with some cubetti pancetta, chopped garlic, onion, celery and a chili, and a little spice of your choice, and then add the cooked stems at the end of the cooking.  Serve with grilled or oven baked sausages and the lightly boiled beet leaves.

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