If you are like me and most others, you hated beets when you were a child. Even if you didn’t hate them you probably didn’t ask mom or dad to have beets with lunch or dinner. You would have been thought of as just plain weird if you liked beets in my school. They were tops on most kids list as the vegie to hate. There was no cartoon hero like Popeye for spinach to pump up the image of beets so they languished for years. I didn’t start liking beets until I was in my 30’s working at restaurants that knew how to prepare them differently than pickled beets, or Harvard Beets. Why this beautiful vegie received so much scorn from children all over the US is beyond me! They have a great flavor with a nice touch of sweetness and are good for you too. I think there was a conspiracy from some other vegie group to discredit beets. How else can you explain beets reputation amongst children,and some adults? While beets are not as power packed as some other vegies they are low in calories and the greens are high in vitamin A. The greens have four grams of protein and fiber in one serving. The most important aspect of beets to me is the taste and color they bring to a salad, or side dish. They brighten up any plate in a big way. I love to have beets that have simply been boiled, peeled and sliced as part of a salad. They go great with goat cheese or toasted walnuts as a salad dish.
Since moving to Baltimore over four years ago we ended up with home in the burbs that has room for a vegie garden. This is my third year of vegie gardening here, and what a difference it is from the garden I had in Sterling, Alaska. Why I don’t even have to chase moose from the garden here. I do however get an occasional bunny or deer that wants to sample my garden. Lots of things grow well here that didn’t in Alaska. I grow tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, onions, okra, gobs of herbs, and beets. I get different results each year as to what grows well and what does not. Beets are the exception to that as they have done well each of the three years. Yesterday I picked my first batch of beets and brought them into the kitchen to test the goods.
They looked great, even if they had a couple of holes eaten out of them by some sort of bug. After washing the beets I was ready to have them all to my self, and cut off the greens for instant gratification.
In the fridge the beets went while their tops hit the saute pan with a bit of my garlic infused olive oil,http://www.fastandfuriouscook.com/garlic-infused-olive-oil-roasted-garlic. This side dish cooks quick!
After I added a bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese on top I was sitting at the table wolfing down the plate of greens all to myself in near bliss after just 5 minutes in the pan. With a bowl of Pinto Bean Soup it was a great lunch combo. Where ever you live in the US you should be seeing fresh beets, grown locally, now or in the near future. Give this greens recipe a try and let me know if you love beets and beet greens too. Beets are good food!
Sauteed Beet Greens
5 ounces or so of beet greens
1-1 1/2 teaspoons garlic infused olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan, optional
Wash the greens well, and trim most of the stem within about a half inch from the green part. Dry well and saute on medium heat for about five minutes. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of water halfway to speed up the cooking process. Add salt and pepper during the last minute of cooking. These merely need to be wilted, not cooked to a shriveled state where you don’t know what kind of green your eating. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over them and serve.