Potato & Beet Casserole
One of the best parts of traveling, in my opinion, if is trying new and exciting and (hopefully) delicious dishes! One of the best parts of getting home (outside of seeing hubby and puppies) is getting in to the kitchen and attempting to recreate some of those dishes. After my UK and Ireland adventures I knew that I had to recreate the incredible dish I had in Ireland at Cornucopia – even though I had no idea how on earth to do that. I knew the ingredients (beets, potatoes, spinach, cheese, and phyllo) but outside of that I had no idea what needed to be done. Since beets and I are just getting used to each other I decided to grate them, figuring the smaller amounts might blend better with the other vegetables as well as reasoning that round discs might tempt me to just remove them. The other thing to figure out was the phyllo dough on top but some quick Googling proved that it could be done. Once I had finished with the research and planning it was time to head to the kitchen, with some pasta and pesto on hand just in case it didn’t work out.
- 1 lb butter potatoes, well washed
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4 in thick
- 3 medium sized beets, well washed and finely grated
- 5 cups fresh spinach, roughly torn and divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, divided
- 4 sheets phyllo dough, torn into strips 1in thick
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat and add the butter potatoes, bring to a boil then add a dash of salt and cook for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain, rise with cold water, and then return to the pan. Add the butter and pepper and mix well - set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the cayenne pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until slightly brown. Set aside
- Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- Place 1/3 of the grated beets on the bottom of the casserole dish, then add a layer of the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, and ricotta. Continue layering ending with the ricotta cheese. Top with the phyllo dough, making sure that the dough is at least 2 sheets thick. Brush on the melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes or until phyllo is brown around the edges. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then serve and enjoy!
There is something to be said about a pink dish – it just goes well with everything! While I served this as a simple vegetarian main it would also be a great side dish for company as it comes together quickly and looks rather impressive coming out of the oven. Still not sure about other versions of beets but after the success of this dish I’m willing to give them a try again, we’ll see how that goes!
I’m also sending this treat over to Ren‘s fabulous Simple and in Season since it highlights two vegetables that are popping up in local gardens: spinach and beets! I didn’t grow either of this year due to my trip but my summer veggies are starting to take off so I see lots of peppers, eggplants, carrots, and tomatoes in my near future!