Braised Beets with Teff Grain

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Braised Beets with Teff Grain
 
with Fennel and Apricots
For a fuller meal, add cooked chickpeas to the mix or serve alongside chicken or fish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 - 6 uniformly sized beets with stems and leaves attached, thoroughly washed
  • 1 small head fennel with fronds, bulb cut lengthwise into ⅛ths, fronds reserved for garnish
  • ¾ cup dried unsulphured apricots (around 15)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and quartered
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅔ cup ivory Maskal Teff grain
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ⅓ cup toasted pistachios
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
  2. Separate the leaves and stems from the beets. Chop the stems and leaves into thirds and set aside. Trim the beets and place in a large rectangular baking dish like a 3-quart Pyrex (16.5" x 9.75"). Add the fennel, apricots, shallot, thyme sprigs, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Pour the water over the ingredients so the water is around two thirds of the way up the beets, or just halfway up the dish. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and then tightly with tinfoil. Cook for forty minutes then carefully remove the dish from the oven. Remove the foil and parchment paper, being careful not to burn yourself with the steam. Flip the beets over then add the beet stems and greens. Replace the parchment and tinfoil and continue to cook until tender, around 20-30 minutes, depending on their size. A knife should easily slice through them when they are done. If the beets vary in size, remove the smaller beets when they are tender and continue to cook the larger beets until done.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beets to a cutting board to cool before handling. Reserve the cooking liquid in the baking dish and transfer all the other ingredients to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  5. Add the teff to the cooking liquid and stir to distribute in an even layer. Replace the parchment and tinfoil and cook in the oven for around 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. If it looks like the teff has absorbed almost all the liquid, give it a good stir and it will absorb.
  6. Use your hands to rub the skins off each beet and wear disposable gloves if you wish. Dice the beets or slice them into wedges or rounds.
  7. Serve the beets and vegetables on top of a bed off teff and top with a dollop of yogurt, pistachios, and fennel fronds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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