Philacatessen | Beets and Greens

beets and greens
Photo by Keri White

Normally I associate root veggies like beets with fall harvests, but my local farmers market has been offering a steady supply this spring.

Unlike many grocery store versions, these come with the lovely greens attached, and that is good news. Beet greens are tasty and nutritious and are kind of like a freebie; I’m buying the beets, but I get the bonus greens, too.

In the past, I had always prepared the beets and greens as separate dishes at separate meals, but last week I had a brainwave and merged the two. It worked beautifully, bringing different textures and flavors to the dish, and was a good way to use both parts of the plant.

Beets and Greens

Serves 2-4, depending on portion size

  • 1 bunch beets (about 4 medium-sized beets), with greens attached
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, for boiling and seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

Remove the beets from the greens. Rinse the beets and place them in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover them with water, add a couple pinches of salt and bring it to a boil.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the beets are soft through. Drain, rinse and let them cool slightly.
While the beets cool, prepare the greens, Rinse them thoroughly and cut the leaves into ribbons. Use as much of the stems as you like — or not; cutting them smaller makes them easier to eat. In a large skillet, heat the oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a sizzle. Add the greens, and turn them over to wilt.

While the greens sauté, peel the beets and cut them into chunks. Toss them into the skillet, stir to coat and blend and continue cooking for a few minutes until the greens and stems are done.


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