I just love these tiny beets Mummy harvested on our balcony this autumn! They’re just the cutest vegetables I have ever seen! So adorable! On the photo you can see how small they really were: the smallest one is barely 2cm! They just refused to grow any further, you know. I reckon they wanted to maintain their baby size. In a way I can understand their refusal to become a grown-up beetroot. It’s not always fun to be an adult, so I have been told. Even I regularly suffer from nightmares of becoming an adult.
Nowadays, there is an increasing number of vegetables facing the same fear. Accompanying Mummy in the supermarket, I have already seen beets, carrots, cauliflower, corn, lettuce, tomatoes that simply refused to grow bigger, but did you know that some artichokes, avocados, aubergines and courgettes also suffer from what I reckon to be a psychological disease?
In order to understand these poor vegetables, I did some web investigation. Vegetable growers try to cover up up this lack of dimension by saying that “most baby vegetables are fully ripe miniature vegetable cultivated for perfection. Others are immature vegetables picked before fully grown. They are as nutritious as regular-size vegetables and most offer a more tender and delicate taste. There are about 45-50 types currently marketed in the United States(1). In the Netherlands most baby vegetables come from South-Africa, Thailand and France (2).These poor creatures are facing an even bigger problem. Just imagine: vegetables enjoying the warm climate, thinking they can just continue sun-bathing for the rest of their lives (as they think they won’t be harvested as long as they don’t grow up anyway), so they are a quite lazy and easy-going bunch of veggies. As they are lying there comfortably in the sun, all of a sudden they are torn away from their home and family and shipped to a cold climate country such as the Netherlands!!! If they are lucky, they end up in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, where they will be served in a fancy restaurant. However, that is only for the happy few. Most of them will end up in the province where they can only pray for a worthy preparation.
It is a highly underestimated problem one should be aware of when tasting such a sweet little vegetable. With this in mind, Mummy wanted to give her harvested beets a truly tasty culinary treatment. She had to buy some adult beets to join the baby ones, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough for her recipe.

(1) http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/specveg.html
(2) http://explorediscovered.com/nl-nl/producten/babygroenten.aspx

Beetroot mash & chicken sausage
Yum
Print Recipe
This dish is really simple and even looks a bit messy, but in its simplicity wonderful flavours are hidden. This colourful combination of beetroot, apple, shallots and crispy baked sausage tastes great! This recipe uses chicken sausage, but do feel free to choose whatever kind of sausage you like. You can easily turn it into a vegetarian dish. this kids-approved dish is an easy recipe for parents to serve their children a healthy meal.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Beetroot mash & chicken sausage
Yum
Print Recipe
This dish is really simple and even looks a bit messy, but in its simplicity wonderful flavours are hidden. This colourful combination of beetroot, apple, shallots and crispy baked sausage tastes great! This recipe uses chicken sausage, but do feel free to choose whatever kind of sausage you like. You can easily turn it into a vegetarian dish. this kids-approved dish is an easy recipe for parents to serve their children a healthy meal.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Collect all ingredients from the above ingredients list to start with the so-called "mise-en-place", a French culinary phrase that means "setting all your ingredients out and set up to have them ready at hand for preparing the dish". Although it is a standard practice in restaurant kitchens, I'm convinced that if you try to have all ingredients cut, peeled, grated, ... , in your home kitchen as well, you'll notice the efficiency during the cooking process.
  2. In this recipe the mise-en-place consists of: peel and wash the potatoes and cut them in equal chunks; coarsely grate the precooked beetroot; heat up the milk and keep warm; core the apples, ready for slicing; peel and finely slice the challots; cut the chicken sausages in 1 cm pieces
  3. Cook or steam the potatoes until tender (cooking takes about 20 minutes, steaming about 30 minutes). Heat the oil in a cooking pan and fry the sausage pieces until they are browned all over. Remove them from the pan (keeping them warm) and fry the challots with the dried sage in the same pan until tender. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Put the grated beetroot in a pan, add the bay leaf, the cinnamon, the balsamic vinegar and warm it up.
  4. Coarsely mash the cooked or steamed potatoes with the warm milk, the pinch of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and combine the beetroot with the potatoes. Slice the cored apples in 1/2 cm slices and bake them in the same pan in which you fried the sausages and the challots. If necessary add some more oil. You just want them to get a bit soft and slightly caramelized. Make sure to turn them regularly as not to burn them.
  5. Now we're coming to the finishing touch: Put a nice pile of mashed potatoes and beetroot on separate plates. Spread a few apple slices on top. Divide the sausage pieces over them. Finish with the fried challots & sage.
  6. Enjoy this lovely, kids-approved, simple dish!
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