Makes the World Taste Good.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: an original rat-packer takes on a wonky lyric.

For a vegetarian, two weeks skiing in Finland was a bit of a daunting prospect. I needn’t have worried; the cooks at Torrespieppi and Yllas Ski Resort, where we stayed, went out of their way to make us something delicious every evening. If I had one criticism, it would be that they seemed to have a glut of beetroot, as beetroot fritters appeared on my plate several times; it’s a good job I liked them.

I’ve no idea what their recipe was, but from looking at a few online and testing a few myself, this is the simplest, most tasty version I’ve come up with.

Ingredients for Finnish Beetroot Fritters

  • 200g Beetroot – raw if you can get it, but pre-cooked works (but avoid those in vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Flour – plain or for a coarser texture use oats
  • 1 tbsp Seeds – I usually buy a pre-mixed bag of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseed
  • An Egg – beaten
  • A small Red Onion – or half a large one, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • S&P
  • Ground Rice or Fine Semolina
  • Cooking Oil

Makes about 6 fritters; serves two

How to make Finnish Beetroot Fritters

  1. Coarsely grate the beetroot into a bowl. Use an electric grater/chopper if you have one, if you are doing it manually; use gloves. Squeeze and discard (or drink!) the excess juice.
  2. Add the flour/oats, seeds, egg, onion and cumin to the beetroot and mix thoroughly.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Divide the mixture into about 6 and shape each handful into a fritter shape. Roll each one in the ground rice/fine semolina. This will help you shape the fritters and create a nice crispy coating on the fritter.
  6. Heat a splash of cooking oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Fry each fritter for about 5 minutes on side one, turn over and fry side two for about 3 minutes – you are looking for a crispy coating on each side.
  7. If you are using cooked beetroot, that’s it. If you like a good crunch in your beetroot, that’s it. But, if you are using raw beetroot and you prefer your fritters softer; place them on a baking tray in a 180o oven for about 15minutes.

To Serve Finnish Beetroot Fritters

A good traditional accompaniment is horseradish – a tsp of horseradish sauce mixed with a tbsp of crème fraiche works a treat.
Goats’ cheese is also an excellent flavour combination for beetroot; serve fritters with baby green leaves and a few chunks of goats’ cheese and, if you fancy, a small handful of chopped walnuts.

pop trivia:The Candy Man’ was originally written for and featured in the 1971 version of ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. However the track became a signature tune for Sammy Davis Jr after it became a hit for him in 1972.