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Author Notes: i hate beet leaves, but i love beets and marinated stems...my stepdaughter witnessed me throwing a huge pile of leaves into the compost and was determined to get me to eat them...fastforward to thanksgiving 2012 and a huge family dinner planned --this a canadian thanksgiving so my garden was still functioning and there was an abundance of beets and their greens still and my stepdaughter worked at a farmstand that year and sold tons of greens to ukaranian women so finally she asked a couple of them what the heck they were making with them and this the dish. i have to mention that there were four of us making this because it is labour intensive...plus the turkey and everything else was also being prepared for about 25 people some of which were kids...im guess about 18 adults....anyway it was the weirdest dish but the first one polished off and i cant count how many times I've been asked for the recipe sometimes the inquiries were from people that weren't even at the dinner, but had heard about the bundles...and the trouble is.....there really isnt one...I've googled it but it remains illusive. But i will attempt it here...
dont worry about leftover stuffing cause the next day just add an egg and some flour and you have the makings for fritters —chez la mere
cups quinoa prepared by pkg instructions
large onions diced medium
pound bacon diced and browned then set aside
garlic cloves mashed into a paste ....this dish cannot have too much garlic so if you love garlic add more
biggest pile of beet leaves you've ever think you will ever need...but add more cause you will need lots
fresh dill about four cups torn up left in sprigs.....not chopped up
quart whipping cream
celery salt, to taste
salt and pepper
splash well maybe a glug...of lea and perrins
couple handfuls of panko
- preheat oven to 350 prepare quinoa as per pkg direction. we might have used vegetable broth but really dont recall for sure. set aside to cool seperate the beets from the leaves and set the stems aside. so three piles - beets, leaves and then the stems
- steam stems ...add water to the stems in a container micro safe and long enough to accomodate the stems. steam just long enough so the stems will bend easy without breaking...but not mushy or overdone
- while quinoa is cooling (we used a rice cooker and used a little less liquid than pkg directions) chop onions and add them to lrg bowl with quinoa. add garlic and spices panko and egg and the cooked bacon chopped up. mix everything up the only ingredients remaining should be the sprigs of dill, cream, leaves, stems...and the mixture should reek of garlic
- before the bundles are assembled open some wine and pour big glasses for the group of assemblers
- you will need a glass lasagna pan or cake pan with high sides ....the largest one you have
- either use an ice cream scoop a cookie scoop or a tablespoon for the filling to transfer to the leaves. whatever works depending on size of the leaves. but do not make large bundles..about two bites size give or take
- spead out the leaf (some will need to be cut to a manageable size) on a cutting board and place about 1/4 cup og mixture in the middle of the leaf and fold the corners in then place a stem flat next to the bundle...transfer the stuffed leaf folded side down on top of the middle of the stem and use stem to tie up the bundle. transfer this tied up bundle to glass pan. dont doddle this step must be done quickly so it stays intact. layer them up and pile the bundles in. there will prob be about 80-100 of them. compress them when you think theres enough. try to keep bundles from breaking. you will run out of stems before the leaves...dont worry they should all be compacted to ensure the bundles stay intact
- pour cream generously over them and compress again keep adding cream so the bundles appear swimming in cream....very well coated. dont overfill pan as the creaam will just boil out all over your oven.
- add the sprigs of dill over the bundles once the cream has been added and compress the whole thing down before covering with foil
- this went in the oven when the turkey was done. with just one oven, when the bird was done it was deboned and the meat was put into one of those aluminum foil dispisable roaster pans.and then a container of turkey broth was poured over the meat,it was sealed up with sheet of foil and kept warm in the bbq out of the way on the patio..the moisted and best bird you will ever eat...just ensure the flame is low or only one burner is on if your bbq has multiple burners....after all the work it would be a shame to burn the turkey now at this late stage
- the beet leaf bundles, were put into the oven for about an hour and the yam casserole was added to oven the loaded mashed and anything else on the menu. just cook the bundles first so they cook up while preparing everything else. you might want to put the glass container on a sheet pan to prevent oven mess and flare up
- its time consuming but soooo worth it. this addition to our thanksgiving menu got raves and everyone was very depressed when it was all gone
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Quinoa Recipe