Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Beet Greens!

Remember Wednesday’s recipe for beets?  Don’t throw the green tops away!!  I actually made the tops before I made the beets themselves, and truthfully, although I enjoyed the beets, I liked the greens EVEN BETTER.  Plus they were dead easy to fix.

Beet greens – I used greens from 2 large bunches of beets
1 Tbs olive oil (or 1/2 Tbs oil and 1/2 Tbs butter)
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice from 1 lemon, optional

The Recipe
Clean and chop the greens.  The fastest way to do it is to fill a sink with water, chop the greens off the beetroots about 1 or 2 inches from the beetroot, and dump all the greens in the sink.  Swish them around to get all the dirt off (the dirt will sink, so you don’t have to do any real messing around). Don’t bother drying them off when you pull them out of the water; just toss them into a big bowl.

To chop them, cut out the middle rib (it’s tough and not very tasty), and slice up the leaves into rough pieces.  (They don’t have to be small; the greens will cook down so much that the size of your bites will be fine in the end.) 

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan.  Add the greens in batches, turning to wilt them and adding more as there’s room.  (I use tongs for this – WAY easier than a spoon.)  Once all the greens are in there, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Remove the lid, and stir the greens.  They should be pretty wilted.  I like mine with some resistance in the bite, but taste the leaves and see if you want to cook them a little more.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add some lemon juice (if you’re using it) and taste again.

Aaaaaand, you’re done!

How did it go?
Holy cow, this was SO GOOD.  The only bad part was that all those greens cooked down to about 2 cups.  So it wasn’t a whole lot of food in the end.  But the taste was amazing.  I know this doesn’t SOUND appetizing, but if dirt tasted good, it would taste like this.  It was sort of salty (even before I added salt), and mineral-y and had a sharpness to it that was tempered by a very vague hint of beety sweetness.  These are going to be my new favorite greens, right next to kale.  The only downside is that I like these a LOT better than the actual beets . . . but they come attached to the dang beets.  So if I want more greens, I think I have to eat more beets.  *sigh*


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