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Beet greens - I'm never thrilled with my results

tcamp Jun 18, 2012 05:46 PM

I thinned beets over the weekend, ending up with a decent bunch of small green tops with baby beets or just thickened roots on the ends. I love the idea of sauteeing the greens but am always underwhelmed with the end product. I should probably have used something to offset the bitterness but instead went with garlic, curry powder, salt, pepper, and a bit of ricotta stirred in at the end. Eh. Nutritious, I assume, but not delicious.

Ideas for a happier outcome?

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  1. nofunlatte RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2012 06:54 PM

    I saute them briefly in olive oil, adding a little salt and pepper. I finish cooking them by braising in a small amount of vegetable or chicken stock. Not sure if this is exciting enough, but I like them that way with a poached egg on top for breakfast.

    1. m
      magiesmom RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2012 06:55 PM

      I steam them briefly and then dress with olive oil, lots of pepper and lemon juice and eat at room temp.

      1. scubadoo97 RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2012 07:11 PM

        I try to keep it pretty simple. I coarsely chop the leaves and chop the stems very fine. Start with a saute/sweat of diced onion and maybe garlic in olive oil then add the greens and stems and after it starts to wilt toss a Tbs or two of water to braise the greens. Salt, pepper and maybe a dash of red pepper flakes. Finish with a dash of vinegar. I'll use red wine, cider or sherry.

        I find very little bitterness in beet greens when I cook them this way. I think the acid finish really helps the flavor. Not enough to be sour but just enough acid to give it some pop in flavor.

        I made tops from yellow beets recently for breakfast and put a nice fried egg on top. As the yolk ran down into the greens it made them really creamy. I really love greens and eggs together. Poached would also be nice. The flavor of the yolk and greens really goes well together for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97
          jmcarthur8 RE: scubadoo97 Jun 20, 2012 05:06 PM

          Scuba, This is the way I do beet greens, too. Onions, olive oil, vinegar. Red pepper flakes. Sometimes bacon fat instead of olive oil. The vinegar is the finishing touch.

          We had huge beautiful radish greens from our garden a few days ago, and I did them the same way. I don't know why I never did that before. They were delicious.

        2. a
          anakalia RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2012 07:15 PM

          I often have this problem. The one recipe I've enjoyed is a "mathachi bhaji" recipe I got out of an Indian (maharashtrian) cookbook. It's supposed to be made with amaranth greens, but said any leafy green would work so I tried beet greens once, and loved it. Basically you chop a potato and cook it with ghee/oil and spices like mustard seeds, green chilis,, fresh ginger, garlic and asafetida. After a while, you add the beet greens and salt, cook down, and add a handful of roasted peanuts. top with shredded coconut, if you want. The seasonings tend to overpower the greens somewhat, but I think the spice, plus the potato and peanut, does wonders to minimize the bitterness.

          1. a
            anakalia RE: tcamp Jun 18, 2012 07:17 PM

            And by the way, I love these suggestions for topping the greens with eggs... I know what I'm having for brunch next weekend!

            1. w
              will47 RE: tcamp Jun 20, 2012 10:35 AM

              I like to microwave them in a covered bowl very briefly, then toss them in a pan with olive oil, sliced garlic, lemon, and maybe some breadcrumbs. If you have / can obtain middle eastern style preserved lemons, they will also pair well with most dark leafy greens. Beet greens are very similar to chard, so any method for chard should work well with them.

              1. splatgirl RE: tcamp Jun 20, 2012 04:08 PM

                drizzle with some good balsamic vinegar

                1. prima RE: tcamp Jun 20, 2012 07:14 PM

                  I saute or boil them, then dress with olive oil and vinegar (usually white balsamic or wine vinegar).

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