I have a problem in the produce section. I can’t resist buying golden beets. Every time I see them I put a bunch in my cart, even though they’re not on my meal plan for the week. I get home and I have to scramble to figure out how to use them.
Are there any foods that you buy just because they’re too beautiful to pass up? Luckily when it comes to produce, nutritional value often goes hand in hand with beauty, so it’s not a bad way to choose your food. I especially love the rosy reds and vivid oranges of golden beets, and when you cut into them they surprise you with a brilliant fluorescent yellow.
These fritters are made almost like Indian pakora, with garbanzo bean flour and spices, but you could just as easily leave out the spices and use regular flour. In that case you could flavor them with herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill. Even though these patties do get fried in a little olive oil, I consider them light, clean, and healthy. Use them as a side dish, or eat them for breakfast with eggs.
- 3 medium golden beets, peeled and shredded
- 3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (or use all purpose flour)
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil for frying
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Toss the shredded beets, leeks, egg, flour, spices, and salt and pepper together in a bowl.
- Blend the yogurt and lemon to make the sauce.
- Coat the bottom of a cast iron or other heavy skillet with olive oil. When the oil is hot, drop tablespoons of the beet mixture into the pan, flattening them out into rounds. You should hear a strong sizzle when the mixture hits the pan, or your oil isn't hot enough.
- Cook until golden and tender, about 3 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper towels and serve hot with the lemon yogurt.
tips for success:
- Be sure to rinse your leeks well or you might end up with unpleasant grit in your fritters. I like to slice them first and then rinse well in a colander. Dry thoroughly before using.
- Make sure your oil is hot before you fry the fritters. Hot oil will sizzle on contact, I test it by dropping a shred of beet into the pan. If the oil is not hot enough the fritter will absorb oil and be soggy.
- These fritters are best eaten hot and right away…you can keep them warm in a 300F oven while you finish the batch.