Golden Beet Fritters with Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream

A golden beet is like the Sun underground.

the Sun underground - golden beets

the Sun underground – golden beets

Don’t you think so? We’ve had a glorious amount of winter sun this January, but it still made me smile to cut into these earthy orbs today.

winter sunset through the peach orchard

winter sunset through the peach orchard

Last year, early spring, I had an idea their scrumptious goldenness might be amazing made into pan fritters. Today is my second experimentation with the recipe, open to all kinds of interesting variations.

Begin with raw shredded beets.

shredded

….shredded….

Then make a light batter, including stiffly beaten egg whites, barely holding the shreds together.

ready to fry

a very light batter – ready to fry

More beet than batter – yum. Like little golden haystacks (before flipping), these fritters are packed with nutrients. Beets strengthen the heart, purify the blood, treat liver stagnancy, and moisten the digestive tract. Power packed little roots.

The small mounded spoonfuls of batter sizzle, nestled in the pan. Fry them over medium heat to insure the raw beets thoroughly cook.

like little haystacks in the pan

like little haystacks nestled in the pan

Golden Beet Fritters with Basil Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream

Golden Beet Fritters with Basil Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream

Golden Beet Fritters with Basil Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream

The pesto greens and smoked paprika cream may be made ahead. Serve fritters hot from the pan!

  • 2 large golden beets, cleaned and shredded/about 3 cups (reserve leaves and stems)
  • 1 1/2 Β c. gluten free flour blend (approximately)
  • 1 tbsp. aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 c. almond milk or other unsweetened milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • olive oil for saute, or other favorite light vegetable oil

Shred beets into, or transfer into – a large strainer, and press to release excess moisture. Place into large bowl, and toss with GF flour blend and baking powder. Thoroughly blend in almond milk and egg yolks. In separate bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Fold them into the beet mixture until no white streaks remain, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Heat large non stick or well seasoned skillet over medium heat, with a tablespoon or so of oil, until it creates a thin hot film of oil across the pan. Drop tablespoons of fritter batter into the hot skillet. Fry fritters for about five minutes per side, until the outer beet shreds begin to brown. Gently check the inside of a fritter or two by lifting a piece of the fried exterior. If it is still raw looking, be patient and let the fritters brown up just a bit more. Lift onto an oven safe platter and keep hot in a low oven if necessary.

Basil Pesto Greens

  • the golden beet greens, rinsed, patted dry, and thinly sliced
  • 2 -3 packed cups baby kale or other favorite mild flavored green
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 c. or to taste basil pesto
  • salt or lemon juice if desired

Heat a splash of olive oil and stir greens rapidly until they become limp but are still bright green. Stir in pesto and taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary with salt or lemon juice.

Smoked Paprika Cream

Smoked paprika is one of my top seasoning loves, lending an awesome elusive woodsy aftertaste.

  • your choice: 1 c. unsweetened yogurt, sour cream, cashew cream
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • big pinch salt

Blend everything together with a whisk or in food processor.

To serve, place greens on platter, arrange hot fritters a-top, and drizzle with smoked paprika cream.

Golden Beet Fritters with Basil Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream - briefly basking in the sun

Golden Beet Fritters with Basil Pesto Greens and Smoked Paprika Cream – briefly basking in the sun

A curried Veganaise dip would be wonderful with the fritters, with the greens perhaps sauteed in coconut oil.
Or a smooth, roast red pepper cream, the greens studded with your favorite chopped olives and capers.
An herbed brown butter drizzle with simple lemon brightened greens.
Perfect for a party.

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