Archive for the ‘Beets’ Category

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.

Ingredients
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*

Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Roasted Beet Salad

I made beets this weekend – turns out I like them!  I kind of remembered liking them when I was little, but hadn’t eaten them in years, so I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d *still* like them.  Tastes change and all that (I still can’t figure out how I used to eat raw onions like apples – true story).  But beets are still QUITE tasty.  Unfortunately, they also make your hands look like Lady MacBeth.  So wear rubber gloves!  Or do like I did, and use some sandwich baggies over your hands when you realize you’re starting to look like an axe murderer.  Just be careful when you’re chopping the beets, because the baggies reduce your dexterity SIGNIFICANTLY.  But better to chop slooooowwwwwly than to chop off a finger, right?  RIGHT.  (Especially because you’d have a hard time distinguishing your blood from beet juice.  I’m just saying.)

This recipe was actually just OK on the first pass.  After my guests left though, I started messing with it, and ended up liking it a LOT better.  That’s the version below.

Ingredients
6-8 beets
Olive oil, for tossing
Juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, FINELY minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder, which is what I ended up using)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tbs mustard (Yellow works fine, but Dijon is EVEN BETTER.)

The Recipe
Wash the beets.  Trim off all the greens, leaving about 1 inch of stems on the beets.  Cut off the long root at the bottom.  (Optional: hang on to the greens for Friday’s recipe – they are AMAZING.)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Coat a large sheet pan (a rectangular cake pan), with non-stick spray (or use a non-stick pan).  Wrap each of the beets in a square of aluminum foil, leaving the top part open.  Set them upright in the pan, and roast in the oven about 45 minutes, or until you can pierce them easily with a fork.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Using your hands, rub the skin off of the beets.  DON’T FORGET THE GLOVES.  (I also recommend an apron here.  You do NOT want to mess around with this juice – it stains EVERYTHING – and they WILL be juicy.)  It’ll be really easy – it feels kind of weird, though.  I was expecting something like potato skins, and even considered not removing the skins, but I’m glad I did.  They’re NOT like potato skins at ALL – they’re more leathery and . . . well, they seem like they’d be tough to eat.  They also made me think of little lizards – not exactly appetizing.  (Sorry for that image.  Go scrub your brain with bleach now.  I’ll wait.)

Chop the beets into bite-size pieces (whatever that means to you).  Put them in a bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Use the oil sparingly, and add more as you toss to combine.  (Toss GENTLY – that whole juice thing . . . )  You might also want more mustard – I found that I liked it better with extra mustard, because the sharpness of the mustard offset the sweetness of the beets.  I thought about adding sliced red onion, which would have been good, but frankly didn’t want to mess around anymore. 

How Did it Go?
Surprisingly well, all things considered.  Initially I just had olive oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice in there, and it wasn’t really enough oomph.  But the mustard and garlic powder took it from “ok” to “good.”  I think red onion would push it right into “great,” but like I said – I was tired of messing around (plus I had some errands still to run that day).  😉  But I’ll definitely make them again – even though I have to be careful of that freakin’ juice. 

(A word to the wise, though.  This is probably WAY too much information, but you should know, just in case you don’t already: after you’ve eaten beets, they’re pretty much the same color going OUT as they were going IN.  If you know what I mean.  So don’t worry; you’re not dying.  You’re just eating beets!!  Fun, fun, fun . . .  After that information, I hope you kept the brain-bleach handy.)