Okay, this recipe is particularly exciting to me! As someone who sticks to a plant based diet, I can tell you that I really look forward to homemade, high quality and easy to make meat substitutes. Beyond Burgers are great and all, but once beat season rolls around, it’s time to celebrate with this Beet Ball recipe! Mark made this recipe once before and we enjoyed the Beet Balls over pasta, though we’ve also talked about how delicious they would be on a sub with marinara and some cheese (plant based too, of course!). What other creative dishes would you make at home?
Here’s some good news; growing beets is actually quite easy to do! Fortunately, they have relatively few pests and can therefore remain uncovered in the field, which makes life significantly easier for the grower. While we used to direct seed them, we now transplant them to get a jump on the weed pressure, to prevent the need to thin after they start growing and to get a more consistently sized beet. Our favorite varieties currently include Merlin, Chioggia and Touchstone Gold, which we transplant into beds with three rows about five inches apart. Since this is our first season trying this method, we can say that it’s been a big step forward from direct seeding for us, but that we will probably tighten up spacing between plants in the future. The only downside to growing beets is that you need to be patient! While their greens may make it appear as if the plant is big and ready to harvest, it can take longer than you’d think to get the beet size you want to harvest. The seed packet claims 55 days to maturity, but it definitely feels like longer... unless you like baby beets, of course!
At any rate, we hope you enjoy this Beet Ball recipe! We were certainly thrilled with it on the first go around! Enough so to make it again to confirm its quality for this blog post. They’re so unbelievably delicious, hearty and filling that we will absolutely be making this a staple. These Beet Balls are rich in flavor from herbs, onions, toasted walnuts and of course, the earthy beets of your choice- and you could go many directions with this with all of the flavor and color options out there!
Here’s the original recipe link: https://veggiedesserts.co.uk/recipe-courgetti-beet-balls/
The only modifications we made were substituting noodles for the spiralized zucchini (since all of ours is going to The Food Club this week!) and using Chioggia beets, which affected the color of the finished Beet Ball.
2 raw beets washed (approx 300g)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 can red kidney beans (15oz) drained and rinsed
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 red onion finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta, your favorite homemade version or storebought
Zucchini, to make noodles if you have a spiralizer
Marinara sauce to complement your pasta of choice!
Heat oven to 200C/400F and grease a baking tray with oil.
Peel the beetroots and slice into chunks. Whiz in a food processor or mini chopper until fine. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In a dry frying pan, toast the walnuts for a few minutes until lightly golden. Add the walnuts and kidney beans to the food processor (no need to clean after the beets) and pulse once or twice until crumbly.
Add the walnut bean mixture, bread crumbs, chopped onion, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to the bowl of beetroot and combine well, you’ll need to use your hands. Squish the mixture well so that it sticks together. Roll into balls and place onto the baking tray.
Bake the beet balls for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through.
For the pasta or zucchini noodles:
Zucchini noodles can be eaten raw or cooked. Spiralize the zucchini in a hand-held or freestanding spiralizer. If cooking, blanch the noodles for a minute or so in a pan of boiling water until hot, then drain. Gently toss them in the marinara then divide onto plates and top with the beet balls. Serve immediately.