Silver Beet Stems
Makes at least 12 from one bunch of stems
Stems from 1 bunch silverbeet
100 g stale bread, made into coarse crumbs
1 egg, beaten
zest 1 lemon – save the lemon for serving
1-2 tbsp capers, plus 1 tbsp extra
small amount raisins, soaked in water for 1 hour
handful parsley chopped
60 g parmesan, grated
3-4 mashed anchovies, optional
salt and pepper
100 g seasoned plain flour
2-4 eggs, beaten well
250 g toasted stale bread, ground into fine crumbs
mild olive oil to fry
Peel tough outer ‘strings’ and cut into 6cm pieces. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 1 minute, then refresh under very cold water. Drain on a teatowel.
Make a firm stuffing with the coarse breadcrumbs, 1 egg, zest, drained raisins, parsley, parmesan, anchovies if using. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Put a tablespoon of filling on one piece of silverbeet, cover with a matching one
and set aside. Continue until all the stuffing is used up. Put the flour, egg and fine breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Squeezing the silverbeet ‘sandwiches’ together to seal, dip them into the flour, egg and finally breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden. Pat dry the extra capers with cloth or paper and fry in the same hot oil. Egg wash and crumb any left over stems even without the stuffing.
Serve with wedges of lemon, deep fried capers and parsley leaves and sprinkle with citrus salt.
*To make citrus salt or sugar: finely chop the zest of any citrus, spread out on baking paper to dry at room temperature for a couple of hours. Now, mix into fine salt or sugar. Store at room temperature in a sealed jar.