Beet greens look and taste like a cross between beets and chard and are delicious sautéed and added to whole-grain salad.
- Makes 4 to 6 servings.Servings
- 1 bunch beets, scrubbed, trimmed, and halved if large
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked whole-grain bulgur, quinoa, wheat berries, or farro
- Greens from 1 bunch beets, washed
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or a mix of herbs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled fresh goat or feta cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the beets in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Season with salt, and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/2 inch, then cover tightly with foil and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Remove beets from the pan, let cool, then peel. Cut the beets into wedges, and place them in a small bowl. Add enough vinegar to almost cover the beets, and toss to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until they taste somewhat pickled, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Drain the beets, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the grains, and cook according to package directions, between 10 minutes for quinoa and more than 1 hour for wheat berries. Drain, and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. You should have about 5 cups.
4. Tear the stems from the beet leaves. Thinly slice the stems, and cut the leaves into ribbons. Place a large frying pan over medium heat, and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the garlic, and sauté briefly, then add the stems and cook, stirring frequently, until partly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the leaves a few handfuls at a time and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook until the greens and stems are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool.
5. Place grains in a large bowl. Add the beet greens and stems, green onions, herbs, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 teaspoons vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss together and adjust the seasonings. Top with the drained beets, cheese, and walnuts.
Tip: Shop at the farmers' market to find the best candidates for root-to-stalk cooking. The veggies are fresh and more likely to come with the stems and leaves that supermarkets often snip off.
More: Learn about root-to-stalk cooking in Humble Root.