I was at an outdoor farmers market while at Whistler on holidays last week and they had the most delicious looking beets-both yellow and red. I was so tempted to buy them but I knew my downstairs tenant had been growing beets in our garden and thought they might be close to harvest. Low and behold, right after we got home he knocked at the door with a bag of beet tops. “I want the beets, he said but I don’t know how to cook beet tops, so they are all yours”.
I decided I would have a go at cooking them. Once you learn how to cook beet greens with this recipe I think you will agree with me that beet greens are sweet, mild, and cook up into the silkiest, most tender greens you’ll ever eat. If you could the stems first you will find that they are super tender and delicious too.
Beet greens are some of the most nutrient-rich greens around, right up there with superfood kale. Did you know that beet greens and stems have more antioxidants and other phytonutrients than the beet roots themselves?
How to Cook Beet Greens
- 1 large bunch beet greens
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (Red Russian Garlic is my fave)
- ¼ teaspoon of Red Pepper flakes
- ½ lemon
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooking beet greens is fast and easy.
First separate the stems from the beet greens. Finely chop the stems and then coarsely chop the leaves.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the beet stems and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beet greens, a sprinkling of salt, red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper, and sauté, tossing, until just wilted.
Turn off the heat, and add more sea salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a platter, squeeze ½ lemon over top and serve with additional lemon wedges.
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