Beetroot Blinis with Parsnip, Apple and Candied Hazelnut

Brightly coloured beetroot pancakes, made into small bitesize blinis for canapes or a little larger for a starter.

This recipe has lots of parts, but isn’t difficult to make if you just work through the different sections methodically and use the ‘Get Ahead’ tips. The end result is well worth the effort to impress your guests.

  • Serves 4

  • Preparation 1 hr

  • Cooking 40 mins

Beetroot Blinis with Parsnip, Apple and Candied Hazelnut
  • Dairy-Free

  • Egg-Free

  • Vegan

Ingredients

For this blinis
  • 25g precooked beetroot, chopped
  • 60g soya yogurt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 35g self-raising flour
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
for the apple and parsnip Purée
  • 2 parsnips (about 150g), peeled and chopped
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½-1 tsp cider vinegar
for the marinated beetroot
  • 100g precooked beetroot, diced into small cubes
  • fresh dill, chopped, plus more to serve
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
for the parsnip crisps
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and finely sliced using a mandolin or a potato peeler
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
for the pickled apple
  • 1/2 green apple, diced
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar, any kind
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
for the hazelnut brittle
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts, chopped
  • A pinch of fine sea salt

Method

  1. To make the blinis: Put the beetroot in a jug with the yogurt. Blend with a hand blender until the mixture is a bright pink colour. Add the bicarbonate of soda, flour and salt, and continue to process until you make a smooth batter.
  2. Put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and wipe a little oil around it. Drop 4 heaped tablespoons of the batter into the pan to make 4 large blinis about 10cm in diameter.
  3. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, and when bubbles start rising to the surface, and the edges are set, flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and cook the remaining batter. Once cool, transfer to a container, cover and chill for 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  4. To make the purée: Put the parsnip and apple into a small pan with 100ml water. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring a few times, until the parsnip is tender and the apple has broken down.
  5. Blend with a stick blender until the mixture is a smooth purée. Add the vinegar to taste until you have balanced the sweetness of the purée. This will depend on the tartness of your apple. Cool, and chill for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. To make the marinated beetroot: Put the chopped beetroot, dill, olive oil and vinegar into a small bowl. Stir well to mix together. Season then cover with cling film. Chill for up to 3 days.
  7. Preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  8. To make the parsnip crisps: Put the finely sliced parsnip and the oil into a bowl with some seasoning. Toss well to coat all the parsnips with the oil. Line a shallow baking sheet with baking parchment or a non-stick silicone sheet and put the parsnip slices on in a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool and crisp completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  9. To make the pickled apple: Mix the apple, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Cover and chill. This can be made up to 3 days in advance.
  10. To make the hazelnut brittle: Place a sheet of baking parchment or non-stick silicone sheet over a heavy wooden board or baking tray and set aside for later. Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer into a heavy based frying pan, and place over a medium heat. Heat for 6-8 minutes until the sides of the sugar start to melt and turn golden. To mix any unmelted sugar into the caramel, tip the pan, rather than stirring.
  11. Scatter in the hazelnuts, add the salt, and briefly stir to coat in the caramel. Carefully tip out onto the lined tray or board, and press down with the back of a spoon so the nuts are in a single layer. Cool, then chop or bash into pieces. The brittle will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
  12. To serve: Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a shallow baking sheet with baking parchment or non-stick silicone sheet and transfer the blinis on to it. Cook for 10 minutes from chilled, or 15-20 minutes from frozen, until warmed through.
  13. Warm the parsnip purée through, in a small pan, until just steaming. Take out the pickled apple, crisps, marinated beetroot and hazelnut brittle on the work surface ready to assemble.
  14. Place the warmed blinis onto 4 warm plates and top with a spoon of the purée. Scatter over a few cubes of the marinated beetroot and top with some of the drained pickled apple, parsnips crisps and a crumbling of the hazelnut brittle scattered over. Finish with a few sprigs of dill, and another drizzle of olive oil that the beetroot was marinating in.

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