Beets are one of the veggies that come with a free gift. You know when your at the store and for some reason two hand soaps are wrapped together for almost the same price as one? You have no idea why this is happening but it is, and so you come home with two soaps feeling like you found some kind of treasure. It’s pretty much just like that.
I call these bonus veggies. They are vegetables that have edible greens shooting out from their tops. Turnip, carrot, beet and radish greens are the main ones that are easily found and just waiting to be added to soup, pasta, pesto or enjoyed on their own.
Beet greens are full of vitamins and minerals making them even more nutrient dense than the beets. They are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, K and C along with a long list of others. Bottom line, beet greens are a pretty rad bonus veggie gift.
Beet greens are so lovely and tender. They can be eaten raw or cooked. This little recipe for beet greens gently sauteed in olive oil, garlic and lemon is so easy it shouldn’t be possible the outcome is so delicious, but lucky for us, it totally is. AND this side is so fast, you could probably ring the dinner bell before the greens even hit the pan and be done before everyone is seated.
2 T. olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 big bunch of beet greens, washed well and dried with a clean towel, torn or cut into pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1.) Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2.) Add garlic. Let cook about a minute.
3.) Add beet greens. Stir and cook a couple minutes until they start to wilt but still are bright green.
4.) Add lemon zest, juice, red pepper flake, salt and pepper to taste.
5.) Serve immediately.
Component in action
-Shave a bit of Parmesan over the top for a true Italian treat.
-toss in a splash of white wine and a nub of butter along with some just cooked pasta. BOOM.
-Spoon on top of toasted garlic bread with a shaving of Parmesan for snack or appetizer.
-Want to switch it up? Add sliced red grapes and chopped raw almonds for a standout side.
-Top of BBQ sandwiches or burgers.