This year we decided to try to grow some beets. My husband and I both love roasted beets, and we had a little room in our raised vegetable bed, so we thought we’d give beets a chance (pun intended). We planted the Bull’s Blood variety, which according to FineGardening.com, is an “heirloom beet from 1840 [which] is primarily grown for its tender, sweet, deep red-burgundy foliage.” They sure look good to me! They have been growing well, and when I checked on them today, I saw that one of the roots looked ready to harvest, so I pulled it out.
Since I only had the one beet, I decided to cut off the beet greens and save the root for later roasting. Beet roots keep for a week or two in the vegetable crisper or a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The greens are very delicate; they bruise and wilt easily, so eating them soon after harvest is best. They should be rinsed in cold water and drained well before consuming.
I’ve never eaten beet greens this freshly harvested, so I was excited to see how they tasted. I prepared mine by sauteing them in olive oil with a little sliced yellow onion, one chopped clove of garlic, and a little sea salt. As you can see below, I chopped the stems of the green separately from the leafy parts–these are a little tough and need more cooking time. I toss the chopped stems into the pan with the garlic and let them cook for a bit before adding the leaves. I use this same method when cooking Swiss chard.
You can cook the leaves whole, chop them, or thinly slice them. I like them sliced thinly–the texture works better for me. I like to eat my beet greens alongside some organic, free-range eggs, cooked over easy.
Beet greens have a hint of beet flavor, but taste a lot like Swiss chard. They are very tasty, and full of vitamins (especially A and K) and minerals (especially potassium, manganese, and magnesium). I love it when something that is good for me also tastes delicious. Yum!
Sauteed beet greens
1 bunch beet greens (from 3-4 beets), rinsed and drained well
2 Tbl. olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
1/2 small onion, sliced thinly
Sea salt (to taste)
1. Chop stems of beet greens; set aside.
2. Chop or slice leafy portion of greens.
3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat until it shimmers.
4. Add onions to oil and cook until they are slightly brown and soft.
5. Add beet stems and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add salt to taste.
6. Add beet greens and stir to combine. Cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
7. Test for salt and serve hot!