Citrus Beetroot Stems

In keeping with the idea of using normally-discarded ingredients, today we have a recipe that uses the stems and leaves of the beetroot.

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I wanted to use the rest of the vegetable, after making the beetroot hummus, as a way of trying to use as much of the vegetable available as possible. There are many things that can be done with the stems: they can be pickled, charred, or steamed. But, gently frying them in a pan with some lemon juice seemed like a great way to go.

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The best way I can describe the leaves of the beetroot is similar to spinach, but they don’t wilt as much as spinach leaves do when you cook them. The stems are crunchy, a bit like celery.

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If you’re a bit unsure about it, there’s never any harm in adding a bit more citrus juice and zest, or a bit more Parmesan. This makes a great side dish for grilled salmon (that’s how I ate it), but I’m sure it would go great with most fish, and chicken too; anything that can take a good hit of citrus really.

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Ingredients

Stems of 2 beetroot, chopped into 1 inch strips
Leaves of 2 beetroot, washed and chopped into large pieces
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
50 grams Parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil

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  1. Place the beetroot stems in a sieve, pour a kettle-full of boiling water over them and allow them to steam for a few minutes.
  2. Over a medium-low heat, add the olive oil to a pan. Add the stems to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the leaves to the pan, mix with the stems and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of zest, while stirring.
  5. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  6. Sprinkle zest and Parmesan over the stems and leaves. Mix well and serve hot.

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