Beet is in season from May to November, but tends to be smaller in the spring, and the fall harvest keeps well through the winter. A good rule is to go for the smaller ones for tenderness, especially if planning to use them raw in salads, and avoid very large ones, which may have a woody core. Try to get them with their leaves, which are also highly nutritious.
Barley was possibly the earliest grain crop that man cultivated and it is still one of the most widely grown grains all over the world, as it seems to thrive in a wide variety of soil types. Most of the crop, however, goes into animal feed and the brewing of beer. Scotch or pot barley, the complete grain, is rich in soluble dietary fibre, so it helps lower blood cholesterol levels. It is rich in minerals, especially iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and phosphorus, as well as some B vitamins. It also contains twice as much essential fatty acids as wheat.
9 oz raw red beet, grated
9 oz raw yellow beet, grated
scant 1 cup oatmeal
1 shallot, minced
4 tbsp minced dill
2 tbsp minced thyme
2 tbsp minced parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp canola oil, for pan frying
scant 1 cup barley
1 celery stalk, minced
1 big bunch of Italian parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin canola oil or olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Mix the ingredients for the burgers well in a bowl, and let rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
2. Prepare the barley for the salad: Boil it in water with a little salt for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool down. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Form flat cakes of the burger mixture with your hands. Heat the oil in a skillet and pan-fry the cakes until golden on both sides. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. Make the salad: Mix the barley with the celery, parsley, oil and red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Serve the beet cakes with barley salad.
Tip: The burgers can be made the day before and reheated.