Beet Lovers’ “Dolmas”

The other day, we went out to our garden and picked a few beets (and their attached beet greens). Our goal was to make something that incorporated the two related ingredients into a coherent food experience, and we found inspiration in Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves). With the decision to stuff our beets into our beet greens made, we needed to pick some flavours and find a way to turn the beets into a food filling texture.

We solved the flavour conundrum with a little white peppercorn and salt (simple is sometimes best), and we turned to our Beet and Quinoa Burgers for the texture (although we skipped the bread crumbs for this one).

These little morsels were a big hit, and they’d be great as a side or an appetizer (perhaps with a little balsamic glaze or a goat milk based cream sauce!

Time: 75 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • Beets with Beet Greens still attached
  • Quinoa (about 1/4 cup uncooked for every 2 beets)
  • 1 Egg for every 2 beets
  • White Peppercorns
  • Salt

Method:

  • Separate the beet roots from your leaves, and give the beets a quick rinse to remove any excess dirt. Then, boil in a pot until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork (about 30-40 minutes for small-medium beets). Remove from the boiling water, and set aside to cool briefly.
  • As your beets cook, bring a saucepan with some water to a boil. The amount of water should be 2x the volume of your quinoa. We went with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup quinoa. When the water is boiling, add your quinoa, and turn down to a simmer. Cook until all of the water is absorbed.
  • Prep your leaves:
    • Rinse your beet greens to remove any dirt/grit, and remove the stems. Then, bring yet another pot with a little water (this time a wide, shallow one) to a boil. When it’s ready, working a few batches at a time, boil your beet greens for a minute or two to soften. When Remove, and place in a bowl…then move on to your next set of greens.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with foil, and give that a quick oil spray.
  • Back to your filling:
    • When your beets are cool enough to touch, use your thumbs to peel the skins off. Discard the skins, and cut your beets into cubes.
    • Place your beets into your food processor with an egg, cracked white peppercorn, and salt. Puree.
    • Transfer your beet puree into a bowl, and stir in your quinoa.
  • Bring it all together:
    • Lay one of your boiled beet leaves flat on a cutting board.
    • Scoop some beet mixture on the bottom (wide) part of your leaf.
    • Fold the sides of your beet leaf over the mixture.
    • Roll from the bottom to the top to fully encase your beet filling.
    • Place on your baking sheet, and repeat until all of your leaves are stuffed.
    • **Fry up any leftover beet/quinoa mixture, and snack on it as you finish cooking….you’ve earned it at this point.
  • Give your stuffed beet greens a quick oil spray, and transfer the to the oven.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

5 comments

  1. Just out of curiosity: How do these dolmas compare to regular ones with rice or rice-meat filling regarding their firmness?

    1. They were a little softer, but they held their shape and firmness when we bit into them. I was afraid they wouldn’t be firm enough, but the egg did a surprisingly nice job.

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