When I plan my garden I have a few must have veggies that are top priority in my kitchen.
Number one on that list is beets.
Beets are the more versatile vegetable I grow. I use the entire plant, and especially love the leaves. You can use the baby leaves in salads or wash and freeze them for smoothies. But to truly enjoy them allow them to grow a little longer until they are about 2 1/2 inches wide. The perfect size for rolling them around a creamy rice, bacon, dilly onion filling.
I have been making Beet Leaf Holubtsi for years. The tender leaves make the perfect blanket for the rice with fresh dill and onions. Bacon is NOT required but makes a nice addition to the rolls.
They are finished off by topping them with a bit of butter and baking them in whipping cream with some shaved onion.
I like to pick the leaves the day before, Wash the leaves and place on sheets of paper towel to dry. Once dry I put them in a large bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave them in the fridge over night. The next day you will find them lightly wilted and ready for rolling. I have read of a few methods of wilting the leaves, from freezing them to placing them in the oven. I have tried the oven method with okay but very time consuming results. Just pop them in the fridge for the night. Trust me.
Beet Leaf Holubtsi
2 cups of white rice
2 tablespoons of butter
6 slices of bacon – diced
1 medium onion – chopped
salt & pepper
Prepare the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile fry bacon, after 5 minutes add 1 tablespoon of butter and chopped onion. It is done when the bacon is crisp. Pour the bacon and onions, over the rice. Add a generous amount of freshly chopped dill and stir to combine. Now is a good time to season with salt and pepper. Add a 1/4 cup of whipping cream, stirring until it all becomes creamy.
Place a beet leaf on a cutting board and trim the bottom part straight across to remove the stem. Place a generous teaspoon of filling on the trimmed edge of the beet leaf and roll it towards the tip. Gently place the roll in a greased/buttered baking dish. Repeat until you have used all the leaves and filling.
*They are not rolled like cabbage rolls when in when making cabbage rolls you tuck the edges in when rolling. It is fine to leave the edges of the beet leaf holubtsi open.
Pour whipping cream and a few teaspoons of shaved onion over the rolls just until lightly covered. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
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