Once when in NC at a farmers' market I wanted to buy some fresh beets. I noticed the tops had been cut off and asked the farmer why he did that. He said people don't want the greens. I asked him if he still had them and sure enough there was a box of beet greens on the truck ready to be thrown out. So I asked if I could have some and he gladly gave me a bag of them for free. I actually gave him some money for them because it just didn't seem right to get all that goodness for free.
Baby Beet Greens
Point of that story is I like the greens better then I like the beets. Maybe it's because my grandmother used to serve them in the summer at her house and she would always serve them with a hard boiled egg sliced on top and a bottle of apple cider vinegar on the table. In my mind, absolutely the best greens you will ever eat.
Normally you make this with the beet greens you cut off a bunch of fresh beets. And I don't use the long part of the stems but do leave the stems on that are part of the leaves. And if you are lucky enough to live any where near Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA, in the springtime they have baby beet greens that are definitely a real treat. But either way beet greens deserve more respect.
Wilson's Farm Baby Beet Greens
This dish is very simple to make and is so healthy you simply have to try it. And whether you add the boiled egg or not, definitely try the vinegar, whether it's apple cider, rice wine, red wine or white wine vinegar. And let us know what you think and how you make it your own. Enjoy!
1. Wash the beet greens in a bowl of water or a salad spinner. There is no need to dry them as we will be steaming them later.
Beet Greens Soaking in a Salad Spinner
2. Add about a cup of water to a pan large enough to hold the beet greens. They will shrink considerably on cooking so if you don't have a pan large enough to hold all of them go ahead and put in what the pan will hold and as they are cooking keep adding them until they are all in the pan.
3. Add the wet beet greens to the pan. See the previous instruction on how to proceed if they won't all fit in the pan.
Add the Beet Greens to the Pan
4. Turn the heat to medium high until the water in the pan starts to boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the greens, stirring frequently until they are fully wilted. Once wilted cook for 2 more minutes.
Beet Greens Starting to Wilt
Cooking Down Further
Beet Greens are Ready to Drain and Eat
6. Drain the liquid from the pan. You can do this by using a strainer or colander or simply place a cover on the pan and turn it over in the sink to drain the water out. Once they are drained place them back in the pan and tip the pan and move the beet greens to the high side to allow and additional liquid to drain out.
In the Pan Draining by Tipping the Pan