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Ideas for Beet Greens, Please?

I have some lovely looking beet greens and want to prove to my mother that, no they're not poisonous (hahaha...) and yes they can be delicious! How should I cook them, and what should I expect them to taste like? (Have never made them by myself but have heard they're wonderful)

I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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  1. They taste very much like chard, to which they are closely related. And, as with chard, the stalks need more cooking time than the leaves. I usually saute mine in olive oil, garlic, and red chili flakes, giving the chopped stalks several minutes before putting in the leaves.

    1. My personal favorite is actually to use them raw as salad greens. I serve them in a salad with steamed beet slices on top, along with feta cheese, toasted walnuts, and a lemon vinagrette. YUM!

      2 Replies
      1. re: fearlessemily

        A restaurant out here in SF, called A-16, makes (or used to) a wonderful salad of cooked beets and greens. Beets sliced, greens cut up like lettuce. Served with a vinaigrette. A stellar combo!

        1. re: fearlessemily

          LOVE beet greens! I treat them just as I do spinach or kale. Cook first (just don't overcook), and finish off in some bacon fat with sliced onion and garlic. At times I add a very small touch of lemon with a little chicken stock and a bit of cornstarch to thicken . Other times add a cream sauce.

        2. Concur with sfmiller. Treat them exactly as you would Swiss chard. You can discard the stalks if they seem overly woody/tough and just use the leaves. Or, include the stalks if you like. Olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes (optional). Put them in the hot oil a little wet and then cover and cook (stirring now and then) for about 5 minutes. Season to taste.

          1. The stalks are really quite nice, chopped up and added to any vegetable soup. I like using them when I make a sauerkraut or cabbage soup.


            1. I quickly blanch them in salted water then sautee with garlic and shallots. I prepare the beets themselves separately and combine together just before serving for a very dramatic RED and GREEN presentation. It's a great Xmas dish.

              1. Beet greens were big in my house growing up - I think because Grandma could get them for free from the produce guy. Even today I'm often able to get them for free because most people don't want them, they just want the beets. Which is crazy to me - I don't care for beets, but will happily eat the greens every day.

                They're great just steamed lightly (they don't take a lot of cooking, ime) with salt and pepper, then served with a splash of your favorite acid - we like either red wine vinegar or lemon. So so SO good.

                1. My wife adores beets but won't eat the greens - she hates chard, too, so that figures - and thus I am left to eat the greens all by myself. POOR me...

                  I usually just cut the stalks from the leaves and then chop them into 3" or so lengths, then tear the larger leaves into pieces about the size of the smaller ones, soak everything for a while and then drain . Heat a little olive oil in the big nonstick sauté pot and throw in the stalks, stir them around for a couple of minutes, then throw in the leaves and a big pinch of salt, toss these around for a while and then put the lid on and steam them until they're as tender as I want. That's very tender if I'm going to eat them by themselves and immediately, not so tender if I'm going to do something else with them. My favorite something else is a frittata:

                  Form cold greens into a wad and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then chop coarsely. Chop a strip or two of bacon fine, cook the shreds in hot olive oil until they're crisp, then dump in the greens and toss and turn until they're good and hot. Set the oven on "Preheat" at a fairly high temperature. Pour two well-beaten and seasoned eggs over the greens, shake the pan gently until the egg starts to set around the edges, and then put the pan into the center of the oven. After five minutes the frittata should be puffed, just barely done in the middle and starting to brown.

                  1. as many others suggested, treat the greens as you would chard. i like to sauté with olive oil and s & p, and add dried cherries, cranberries, chopped apricots or currants, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, and a splash of sherry vinegar or citrus juice depending on mood & accompanying dishes.

                    1. I like to fry up some pancetta in olive oil, then take out the crispy bits and saute the greens in the remaining oil / fat. Boil some pasta and toss it in using some of the reserved pasta water to thin the "sauce" if necessary. Serve with the crispy pancetta sprinkled over the top along with some grated parmesan. Yum.

                      I also make a delicious vegetable lasagna alternating layers of roasted butternut squash (mashed with butter, roasted garlic, and sage) and sauteed greens (chard or beet greens saueed with garlic in olive oil and butter). You can also layer ricotta cheese (mix with an egg and seasoned with salt & pepper). Then top with a bechamel sauce and bake. Or don't bake it at all (skip the ricotta cheese) and assemble layers of the vegetables & pasta on a plate and top with a sauce of butter in which you have fried fresh sage leaves until crispy. The butter will lightly brown and you can sprinkle the sage leaves on top. Something happens when you fry them in the butter and they become delicious and not overwhelmingly sagey.

                      1. When we belonged to a CSA farm (oh, how i miss it...) we got a lot of beets with really fresh greens. They are delicious just simply too -- I used to do beets and greens. My favorite was to wash the beets, roast them whole (in some foil) till tender. Then do a very light steam/saute (start with a little oil and garlic, and add the greens with water on them) -- then combine the cooked beets and greens together with just S&P and a little balsalmic. The rest of these suggestions sound great -- but don't forget the basics with such good ingredients!

                        1. for the second time today, the ny times dining section offers a potential answer to a CH post...