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Amaranthaceae (Beets and Spinach)

             Ukranian Borscht - Greg White
             Notes on Greg's Borscht - Rowen
             Beet Pickles and Pink Eggs - Sarah Scott
             Spinach And Feta Turnovers from Epicurious Food - Alice Gomez
             Spinach Soufflé - Alice Gomez
             Sky-High Brunch Bake
             Another Spinach Soufflé
             Spinach Soufflé III
             Spinach Soufflé IV
             Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans - Alice Gomez
                          Marian van Til Substitutes...
                          Lois Adds...
             Easter Spinach Salad - Alice Gomez
             Spinach Salad with Bacon, Dates, and Feta Dressing
             Scalo's Spinach Salad

Ukranian Borscht - Greg White
Here's [my wife's] mother's recipe, which she just translated for me. This would be a Ukranian borscht, and is a borscht to be served hot:
2 pounds meat, beef or veal, cubed
1-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 beets, fist sized, peeled.
2 carrots, peeled.
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
4 oz tomato paste
4 tbs ketchup
2 lemons, juiced
Tomato juice, about the same volume as you have shredded beets
1 head fresh dill
sugar, salt, pepper - to taste
Boil meat for a minute or two. Discard water. (Editors note: I think this may not be relevant with today's meat, she's trying to defat the meat, hardly the issue today that it once was. Nonetheless, her results were excellent...) Boil meat again, this time with onion and some salt. Skim fat as it rises. Separately, boil beets and carrots until tender; grate them and reserve. Add potatoes and parsnip to the beef mixture and cook until potatoes are not-quite done. Add shredded cabbage and chopped red pepper. Bring to boil. Add grated beets and carrots, tomato paste, ketchup, lemon juice, tomato juice, and head of dill - tied on a string. Return to a boil, then remove dill and discard. Add sugar, salt, pepper to taste. The final product should be tart and slightly sweet.
Serve with sour cream, to be mixed with the Borscht, and half-sour pickles.

Notes on Greg's Borscht - Rowen
Well, after the afternoon's culinary adventures, we finally sat down to supper - big bowls of hot, steaming borscht and a loaf of good French bread. I put sour cream in my soup; my husband ate his 'naked'. And we both loved it!
Greg, thanks for the recipe! It was delicious! And well worth the effort.
I was quite surprised at how good it was - I'd become rather leery of the beets over the course of the afternoon - but taste, texture, and appearance all deserved an "A+" rating.
For anyone else who's thinking about making Greg's recipe:
1) this recipe makes a LOT of soup. I had cut it in half, and I'd say it was still enough to feed 6 well.
2) the suggestion to use the food processor to shred the cabbage, beets and carrots is a good one. I did that and it worked very well. I really can't imagine doing this by hand.
3) I kind of wondered at what seemed like a lot of lemon juice, but it tasted great, so don't cut back.
4) Next time I'll use a heavier bread - rye or pumpernickle. The French bread was a little 'bland' for the soup.

Pickled Beets and Pink Eggs - Sarah Scott
Beet Pickles from Aunt Millie
3 C. Sugar
2 C. Vinegar
2 C. Water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each of Cinnamon, whole allspice, and pickling spice
1 bay leaf
Combine, cook for 15 min. Add sliced beets. Bring to a boil. Put beets in jar, pour liquid over. Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Then do the egg thing:
Basically you drop hard boiled eggs into a jar of beet pickles for two or three days (or more). The longer you leave it in the further in the red color works itself in toward the center. The end result is a bright pink egg, very firm, slightly sweet but not too beety. Very pretty sliced in half on a white plate.
If you want the honest truth, I love the eggs, but HATE beet pickles, so I use the food processor on my beets so the eggs fit into pickled beet mush... my mom is horrified.

Spinach And Feta Turnovers from Epicurious Food - Alice Gomez
Start this easy Greek-style meal with a refreshing salad of tomatoes, cucumber, chopped red onion and Kalamata olives tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Drizzle orange sections with ouzo, the Greek anise-flavored liqueur, to wind it up.
2 large eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
Preheat oven to 425 deg. F. Lightly grease heavy large baking sheet. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Transfer 1 tablespoon beaten eggs to small bowl and reserve for glaze. Mix spinach, cheese, mint, garlic and pepper into remaining eggs in large bowl.
Unfold dough on prepared baking sheet. Gently stretch dough to 11-inch square. Cut dough into 4 equal squares. Spoon 1/4 of spinach filling (about 1/3 cup) into center of each dough square. Fold 1 corner of each square over filling to opposite corner, forming triangle. Press dough edges together tightly with fork to seal. Using sharp knife, cut 3 small slits in top of each turnover to allow steam to escape. Brush tops of turnovers with reserved egg glaze.
Bake turnovers until filling is cooked through and tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
2 Servings; can be doubled

Spinach Soufflé - Alice Gomez
3 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, separated
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 large egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 10-inch quiche dish or shallow 2-quart casserole with cooking spray; sprinkle with bread crumbs to coat. Set aside.
2. In 2-quart saucepan, with wire whisk, beat milk with cornstarch until blended. Heat milk mixture over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat.
3. In large bowl, with rubber spatula, mix egg yolks, spinach, Parmesan, salt, and pepper until blended; stir in warm milk mixture. Cool slightly (if spinach mixture is too warm, it will deflate beaten egg whites).
4. In another large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat cream of tartar and 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg-white mixture, one-third at a time, into spinach mixture.
5. Spoon souffle mixture into quiche dish. Bake souffle 20 minutes or until top is golden and puffed. Serve immediately.
Each serving: About 195 calories, 15 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 5 g total fat (2 g saturated), 114 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium.
Or, use powdered egg whites, reconstituted following package directions. Powdered egg whites are available in the baking section of most supermarkets.

Sky-High Brunch Bake
1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
6 eggs
1 cup ricotta Cheese
Dash hot pepper sauce
2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked, chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped red peppers
Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out each puff pastry sheet to 11-inch square. Place one of the pastry sheets on bottom and up side of greased 9-inch springform pan. Beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of the eggs; set aside. Add ricotta cheese, pepper sauce and spinach to remaining eggs; mix until blended.
Layer half each of the bacon, cheese, spinach mixture and red peppers in pastry-lined pan. Repeat layers; cover with remaining pastry sheet. Tuck edges of top crust under edges of bottom crust, trimming pastry as necessary. Brush top with reserved 1 Tbsp. egg. Cut 5 or 6 slits in top crust with tip of sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
Bake 45 to 55 min. or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. Run small knife around edge of pan before removing rim.
Make-Ahead: Assemble and bake pie as directed. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, uncover. Bake at 350F for 30 to 40 min. or until heated through.

Another Spinach Soufflé
1 can (10 oz.) cream of celery soup
3 eggs, separated
1 cup finely chopped, drained cooked spinach
1/4 cup grated onion
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Heat the soup (undiluted) to just below boiling. Remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks, and add to the soup, along with the spinach, onion and nutmeg.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into the soup mixture. Turn into a buttered casserole dish. Top with cheese.
Set in a pan of warm water and bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes, until set and golden crusted. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Spinach Soufflé III
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 egg yolks
5 stiffly beaten egg whites
Cheddar cheese sauce
1. Cook spinach following package directions. Drain very thoroughly. Add butter to spinach; cook and stir over high heat till butter is melted. Blend in flour and salt; add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat; stir in grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Beat egg yolks till thick and lemon-colored. Stir spinach into egg yolks. Pour spinach mixture over egg whites; fold together carefully. Pour into ungreased 1-quart souffle dish. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or till knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.
3. Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Combine one 10-1/2 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup and 1/3 cup milk; heat. Add 4 ounces sharp natural cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup); stir to melt.

Spinach Soufflé IV
1 pound fresh spinach or Swiss chard
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Prepare and cook spinach or Swiss chard; chap and drain thoroughly. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter one 1-quart dish or casserole. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and then stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg.
In a large mixer bowl, beat egg white and cream of tartar until stiff; set aside. In a small mixer bowl, beat egg yolk until very thick and lemon-colored; stir into white sauce mixture. Stir in spinach. Stir about 1/4 cup of eggs whites into sauce mixture and gently fold into remaining egg whites.
Carefully pour into casserole dish. Set casserole into pan of water (1 inch deep). Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden and until a silver knife inserted halfway between the edge and center comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans - Alice Gomez
1/4 cup brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
6 T olive oil, divided use
3 T balsamic vinegar, divided use
1 c. pecan halves
1 6-oz. bag baby spinach leaves
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, cut into thin wedges (or mandarin orange sections, or pomegranate seeds, or nothing at all, or whatever suits you).
Makes 4 servings
Candied Pecans: Combine the quarter-cup sugar with one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of vinegar in a small frying pan and place over medium heat until the syrup bubbles, about one minute. Toss in the pecans and mix to coat. Stir the nuts for about four minutes or until toasted and evenly coated. Be careful not to burn them. Place the sugared nuts on a foil-lined cookie sheet - butter the foil or spray the foil with non-stick spray - and carefully separate them when completely cooled.
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining one tablespoon brown sugar, five tablespoons oil, and two tablespoons vinegar.
Combine spinach, mango and cooled pecans in large bowl. Whisk remaining 5 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.

Marian van Til Substitutes...
I added apple slices; and added some salt to the brown sugar mixture to mitigate some of the sweetness (worked well); and used Penzey's French vinaigrette mixture for the dressing instead of more brown sugar, etc.

Lois Adds...
I substituted a lot of thinly sliced onion and some naval orange slices. Lots, because the spinach found here didn't have much taste, even if it does have Popeye stuff. Love those nuts.

Easter Spinach Salad - Alice Gomez
I have two huge rosemary plants planted outdoors, one is upright, the other is a trailing rosemary which at this moment has tiny lavender flowers all over it. They make a marvelous decoration on a spinach salad (dark green) with red onion in it, and sliced hard-boiled eggs atop. The lavender flowers and yellow of the eggs against the dark green of the spinach is perfect for Easter.
Serve with a raspberry vinaigrette.

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Dates, and Feta Dressing
For feta dressing
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
For salad
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach (about 3/4 pound), stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped
Make feta dressing:
In a blender blend together feta, lemon juice, water, and mayonnaise until smooth. With motor running add oil and blend until emulsified.
In a small skillet cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
In a large bowl toss together spinach, bacon, onion, and dates with feta dressing.

Scalo's Spinach Salad
Spinach leaves, sweet roasted pears, candied walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese, creamy balsamic vinaigrette.