Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
BAM 11: Beet leaf Peanut Miso Ae, Chicken katsu with a twist
and Potatoes with sage tempura
It's summer time and the farmer's markets are like treasure troves full of bright gem-like fruits and vegetables. Since I live in California, I wanted to start incorporating some of these wonderful ingredients into Japanese cooking.
I went to my local farmer's market to pick up beets with the leaves attached. In fact, I wanted the leaves more than I wanted the beets. Beet leaves are soft, leathery and luscious green leaves with blood red stems. The inspiration for this dish was from horenso no gomae (spinach with sesame seed sauce) which I then applied to beet leaves.
The trick to this recipe is cutting off the steams and cooking them longer than the leaves.
Stalks and leaves from 3-4 beets (Approx. 2 cups of prepared beet leaves and stems)
1 tablespoons of unsweetened creamy peanut butter
3/4 tablespoon of awase miso
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1 (1/2) tablespoons of hot water
1) Wash your beet leaves and divide them up into two piles: Large thick leaves in one pile and small thin leaves in another pile. (If they are all about the same size this is not necessary.) Chop off the stems.
2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the stems in and boil for 4-6 minutes depending on how thick the stems are.
3) Add in the large beet leaves after boiling the the stems for about 4 minutes.
4) Add the small beet leaves in with 2 more minutes to go. The total boiling time for the stems and the leaves should be about 8 minutes.(If the beet leaves are all about the same size, put them all in for about 4 minutes.
5) Drain and cool in cold water to stop cooking.
6) Squeeze out the water from the leaves and chop into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
7) In a mortar or bowl, mix the miso, peanut butter, hot water, and sugar until you have a smooth sauce.
8) In a separate bowl mix in the sauce and beet leaves and stems.
Beet leaves and stalks.
Separate your beet leaves into large and small pieces if your beet leaves vary a lot in size.
Smaller and younger beet leaves with stems removed.
Boil the stems first.
Add in the beet leaves during the last 2 minutes.
Drain and cool with cold water. Use both hands to squeeze out water. Unfortunately I need one had to take the picture.
Lay on a chopping board and chop into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
After cutting, squeeze out the water again.
Add the sauce ingredients into a bowl.
Mix until smooth.
Dress the beet leaves and stalk with the sauce.
Beet leaves served.