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Beets!

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We bought a couple of bunches of beets at the farmer's market yesterday, and as I was looking in the fridge this afternoon prior to a shopping trip, I thought "I should cook the greens tonight, before they wilt." I remembered a calzone/pie I used to make fairly often BK (Before Kid), and since I had some time this afternoon, the following menu was the result.

Beet green calzone:
Make a batch of pizza dough (enough for one medium pizza) and set it to rise. Meanwhile, sautee a chopped onion and some chopped green garlic in olive oil. Then add two bunches of beet greens, chopped, and a splash of cider vinegar. (Ordinarily I would add salt to help the leaves wilt, but I was planning to add olives and feta later, so I didn't.) Anyway, cook the greens until wilted and most of the liquid evaporated, then take off the heat. Add about 4 ounces each of plain goat cheese and crumbled feta, a half cup of chopped kalamata olives, two eggs (minus half a yolk) beaten with a quarter cup of milk, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Roasted beet salad:
Trim and scrub beets. Don't peel -- peeling beets is a waste of effort! Preheat oven to 350. Put beets in shallow baking dish with a quarter-inch or so of water, and cover tightly.

Back to the calzone:
Oil 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Punch down dough and divide in two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Roll each into a circle (the larger one should be slightly larger than the pie pan). Fit larger piece into pan, pour in beet green mixture, and top with second circle. Crimp edges. Beat reserved 1/2 yolk with a tablespoon or so of water, and brush top of calzone. Prick top with fork.

Go to preschool to pick up offspring (this step may be skipped if not applicable).

Put beets and calzone in preheated oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until beets are tender and calzone is browned. (Baking time of beets depends on their size, of course. These were medium-sized.) Play with child while food is cooking.

Take calzone out of oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, slip skins off beets and slice into rounds. Dress with olive oil and some sort of low-acid (e.g. rice wine) vinegar.

Cut calzone into wedges and serve with beet salad.

***

The calzone was nicely and evenly browned. The bottom crust was a little soggy, due to sitting while I went to pick up the babe, but the filling was delicious and the top crust was good. Our daughter, Alice, taking after her aunt, adores beets. She gobbled the beet salad quickly and then demanded more from our plates, but luckily my husband and I did get to eat some. She eventually discovered the calzone and devoured that, too.

It seems to me that the apotheosis of beet cuisine is creating a meal that includes both the roots and the greens in a non-obvious way. Not bad for a Monday.

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  1. Sounds delicious. But I have to know where "two eggs (minus half a yolk)" came from. That sounds like something I'd do!

    1. that sounds absolutely delicious, definitely adding that to the menu once we finally get out of snow and get farmers markets around here again... though i am thinking about ditching work to go make one...

      1. Do you use the stems along with the greens?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bat Guano

          I didn't use the stems because they tend to be stringy and fibrous, and I thought they wouldn't help the texture. That just applies to the stem ends, though -- I didn't core each leaf.

          1. re: jlafler

            Thanks! Your meal sounds great - I'm now planning to try your calzone idea. Just wondering what to do with the stems, though; I usually cook the greens with the stems and eat them, and I hate to throw anything away... And we love roasted beet salad - I usually add some thin-sliced onion to the beets, otherwise very similar to yours.