I have always loved pink and green as a colour combination when it comes to food. Matcha cake with raspberry pink icing, beetroot pasta with a sprinkling of fresh parsley, the pink pickled turnip you get at Lebanese restaurants served alongside herby tabbouleh and now I can add beetroot cream cheese and wilted leafy greens to the mix.
I can’t really tell you where this idea sprung from apart from not wanting to waste anything in the kitchen. After recently going completely freelance in my job I have been thinking of ways to reduce my monthly food bill to accommodate fluctuations in my wages. Admittedly saving a bit of juice from some preprepared beetroot isn’t going to make a huge difference to me financially but it is a start. Plus, being creative in the kitchen whilst watching the pennies is what it’s all about. Think of all those marvellous men and women during the Second World War who made meals out of virtually nothing on their rations. Of course, I am not comparing myself to them but it’s important to be responsible in the kitchen regardless of how much money you or I earn. Try and only buy what you are going to use and buy locally where possible too. We could all take a leaf or two out of the wartime Ministry of Health handbooks!
This dish uses one of my favourite and under-appreciated vegetables. The beetroot. I adore beetroot. I love the earthy yet slightly sweet flavour and of course, that deep purple colour helps! Beetroots come in all colours these days too. Golden beets, candy beets, red beets.. each one pretty as a picture.
This recipe uses vacuum packed, ready-cooked beetroot but of course if you wanted to boil your own beetroot you most certainly could. In all honesty, I rarely buy beetroot ready cooked as it’s so easy to prepare, but for this recipe, I needed the deep purple juice that gathers around the purple globes inside the packaging.
This purple juice creates the perfect colouring for the cream cheese in this recipe (if you can call it a recipe!) Normally that juice gets tipped away but something told me to save it this time and try utilising it in a recipe.
This recipe is more of an assembly job and you can make up the measures yourself. If you want your cream cheese more pink thenadd more juice. Less pink, less juice. With regards to the toppings, you can add as much or as little of each as you enjoy. So, because of this, I am not going to tell you how much of each ingredient you need. It really is entirely up to you and everything you are using will keep for a day or so so you can make it again the following day if you have leftovers.
- Cream cheese
- One packet of vacuum packed beetroot
- Leafy greens such as kale, cavalo nero or spinach
- Pink pickles - I got mine from my local Turkish shop
- Parsley, chopped
- Sourdough Bread, sliced thickly
- Open your beetroot and tip into a bowl. Make sure you reserve the juice. Slice the beetroot spheres thinly and set aside.
- Spoon approximately 150g of cream cheese into a medium sized bowl. Add a little purple beetroot juice and stir well. If you want a darker mixture add more juice and stir again.
- Wilt your leafy greens in a saucepan with a teaspoon of water and set aside.
- Toast your sourdough. Smear the beetroot cream cheese generously on top. Pile on the wilted leafy greens, sliced beetroot and pink pickles.
- Sprinkle your finished dish with chopped parsley and serve straight away.