You think beets – most people have never tried them and they definitely don’t have many recipes for them. I was one of those people who never ate beets… until now. This year I decided to plant two rows of beets just for fun. I wanted to see how my garden would handle this ugly vegetable. For the beet lovers out there please don’t take offense and understand by the term ugly I mean, well, I guess I mean ugly! The beet is not the most glamorous vegetable at the produce stand.
When I think about my weekly meal plan I must admit beets were never at the top, middle or bottom of my list . . . until now. My beet crop flourished and I had to decide whether to keep them for myself or give them away to my handful of beet loving friends. Not wanting to make a hasty decision I decided to research on how to prepare and cook beets. I didn’t find many beet recipes that tickled my taste-buds so I began to experiment with similar recipes using other root vegetables I liked. However, there was one interesting fact about beets; you can use the entire beet!
Facts about beets: While the beet plant is growing you can harvest the leafy greens and cook them as you would spinach. Beets are a good source of folacin and a source of Vitamin C and potassium. Red beets provide Vitamins A and C, calcium and iron, and add fiber to the diet. According to John Heinerman Ph.D. in Encyclopedia on Healing Juices, beets (& beet juice) are blood-building herb that detoxifies blood & renews it with minerals & natural sugars.
With all that being said I came up with a tasty beet recipe I hope you will enjoy.
4-5 medium size beets
2 cups of chopped beet greens
1 crushed garlic clove
¼ cup extra EVO [extra virgin olive oil]
½ cup of freshly hulled corn or canned corn
¼ cup feta cheese [I prefer the basil/ tomato blend]
Cut the greens from the beets leaving about an inch of the stem attached to the beets. Rinse the beets and greens thoroughly. Let the greens soak in cold water while the beets are being prepared. Fill a medium pot with salted water. Add beets and simmer for about 20 minutes. Smaller beets may take less time. Use a sharp knife to test. If the knife slides out easily your beets are done. When the beets are done you can remove the stem and peel them. They should be a beautiful ruby color. Dice the beets into chunk-size pieces.
Preparation of Beet Greens:
In a skillet add a teaspoon or two of EVO [extra virgin olive oil]. Heat until oil is hot. Add one crusted clove of fresh garlic. Add cut beet greens. Cook lightly.
Combine the diced beets and freshly hulled corn to the beet greens and lightly sauté. You don’t want to over-cook this dish. Before serving add the feta cheese. Serve as a side dish or a light entrée.
The Gardeners Dictionary