Beet greens - I'm never thrilled with my results
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?
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.
I steam them briefly and then dress with olive oil, lots of pepper and lemon juice and eat at room temp.
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.
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.
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.
And by the way, I love these suggestions for topping the greens with eggs... I know what I'm having for brunch next weekend!