This has kept me awake for 3 nights in a row now. Ever since I went grocery shopping the other day, and stopped in at my favourite fruit and veg store (The Carrera Centre in Randburg), and added another bag of beetroot to the trolley, and vowed on the spot that I would not let this bag go mouldy in the vegetable drawer (like its very numerous forbears). Don’t get me wrong, beetroot is never neglected in my house because it’s unloved, but rather because it can be a bit of a faff before it ends up on our plates. All that pink-fingeredness usually makes me turn up my nose and reach for the butternut instead. Though, of course, there are many occasions when said faffing has been completely worth it, like this Baked Beetroot & Goats Cheese Risotto, or this Beef Fillet and Warm Beetroot Salad. And, now, I am rather pleased to add this little number to the list. I have no idea why the beetroot demanded to be turned into fritters, but it just did, and rather loudly at that. And since beetroot and horseradish are the best of friends, and salmon and horseradish are also a happy couple, I figured that all three would mean a veritable party on a plate. And it did.
Serves 2 | Preparation time 10 minutes | Cooking time 10 minutes
(+ 20 minutes extra for the beetroot if using uncooked)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
About 4 beetroot heads, boiled until cooked through (about 20 minutes) OR use already cooked beetroot, though NOT the kind stored in vinegar
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 salmon fillets
Handful fresh watercress, roughly chopped
For the horseradish sauce
1 heaped tsp horseradish
2 Tbsp fat free cottage cheese
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
[Mix all ingredients together]
WHAT TO DO
1. Mix together the cooked beetroot and onion in a food processor until well chopped (or alternatively grate both by hand), and tip contents into a mixing bowl. Add in the egg, flour, dill/parsley, lemon juice and salt and mix together until just combined.
2. Heat 2 pans each with 2 Tbsp olive oil. In one, fry the salmon fillets for about 3 minutes on each side, remove and set aside on warmed plates, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. In the second pan, fry the fritters for about 3 minutes on each side, turning only when one side has formed a crust and can be easily lifted. Fry in 2 batches and drain on kitchen paper before serving with the salmon, fresh watercress and horseradish sauce.
* Helpful Hint: If using raw beetroot, put on kitchen gloves for handling them, and peel before boiling, to avoid stained hands.