I haven’t done the Vegan MoFo Iron Chef Challenge in a few years, but since I happened to be home for this one, I thought I might do it! The challenge was to make something with beets- specifically the roots. It didn’t specify what kind of beets, so I used golden, which I prefer.
It’s hard coming up with something completely original with beets. I like beets okay, but they’re not my favorite vegetable. I haven’t done a whole lot of cooking with them, so in my mind, it was an original idea to put them in latkes… but it turns out that it’s not. I do think that what I did with them was original enough to enter into Iron Chef, so here it is!
On a bonus note, an omnivore friend of mine stopped by shorty after I finished cooking and tried them and thought they were “delicious.” So, omnivore approved!
This basically uses up one bunch of beets, perhaps a little less. You’ll want to roast at least 1 of them, and leave at least two raw. If it were me and I were to have some leftover beets from the bunch, I’d roast them. I like the simple directions for roasting in Appetite for Reduction. If you buy beets with the greens attached, save them! Beet greens are a fairly mild green that cook up more or less like spinach, with slightly more bite. They’d be nice alongside this dish, though I ran out of time to use them now.
A nice bonus with these is that the beets, sweet potato, and onion are all from the farmers’ market!
Curried Beet and Sweet Potato Latke with Apple-Beet Chutney
For the latkes:
- 2 small-medium golden beets or 1 large one
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tbs ground flax mixed with 6 Tbs water
- 1 tsp to 1 Tbs curry powder (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Coconut oil, for frying
- Grate the beets, potato and onion in the food processor or with a grater.
- Squeeze all the moisture you possibly can out of the grated vegetable. The onion will release the most moisture. Add the veggies to a mixing bowl.
- Add the flour to the veggies, and mix together with your hands.
- Add the curry powder and salt to the flax mixture and mix well. Dump into the veggies, and mix well with your hands.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a cast iron skillet.
- When the oil is shimmery and hot, start grabbing handfuls of the veggie mixture and shape into balls, about 1/4 cup at a time. Gently drop a ball into the oil, and flatten with a spatula. Do this with as many as will fit comfortably in the pan with out touching (I did four at a time in a 12″ skillet).
- Fry 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Remove to paper towels when they’re done. You can put them in a 200F oven to keep warm, if necessary.
For the chutney:
- 1 medium apple, peeled/cored and chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 roasted beet (roasted in 425F oven for a hour), peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 of a small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider or juice (or water + 1 tbs maple syrup)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, and then turn heat down to simmer for 10 minutes.
- It’s ready when the liquid is gone.
- I used white sweet potatoes, not yams for this. The yam/orange sweet potato would also be nice in this as well, though I think you’d have to squeeze a lot more moisture out of them.
- I also used red onion because that’s what I had from the farmers’ market, but yellow would be fine, too.
- I used golden beets, but the regular kind would be fine too, I just hate working with the ones that stain.
- Although this isn’t a canning post and that’s a small amount of chutney, chutney does lend itself well to canning, as it has a high acid content due to the vinegar!
I don’t know if I’ll have time to do the other Iron Chef challenges for Vegan MoFo, but I had fun with this one, and I really hope you try this recipe!