Wednesday, September 24, 2014

a way to use beet greens

Fall is officially here and my heart is fluttering with adoration for the season.  This morning as our family walked together to school it felt like fall was surprisingly punctual this year.  There was an absence of Texas heat and no blazing sun singing our skin, just a cool breeze to carry us on our way.  I picked up a fallen maple leaf, brown and crisp, and handed it to the little one.  I wished him a happy first day of fall as he tucked it into his backpack pocket.

My lunch reflected the new season as well-a deep orange sweet potato topped with dark emerald beet greens and a smattering of goat cheese.  It was entirely satisfying, hearty, and nutritious.  When I purchase beets I either buy organic or purchase from a farmers market.  The little red beauties are still hugging tightly to there tops and rather than discarding the tops I incorporate them into my meals for added nutrients. 

The smaller, newer, more delicate beet greens are wonderful to saute.  You can add them to a scramble or frittata, place them in a quesadilla, toss them in a salad, or sneak them into a pasta.  The more mature leaves, larger and tougher are great in soups and stews.

If you purchase beets with the greens still intact, store the greens separately from the beet root once you get home.  The greens will only last a few days and it is best to eat only the healthiest leaves, vibrant green and rid of slime.  I clean my beet greens as I would any other green.  I swish them in a large amount of cold, salted water and then spin them dry.

Baked Sweet Potato with Beet Greens & Goat Cheese
A vibrant orange, earthy root vegetable paired with nutritious and hearty beet greens is delicately spiced with smoked paprika and accompanied by a creamy, tangy goat cheese.  A perfect fall lunch. Enjoy this non-recipe recipe.

yield: one

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Scrub the exterior of one sweet potato clean and rub with olive oil (if desired.)  Pierce the skin of the sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork or paring knife.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, saute one handful of small, young, clean beet greens in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Add two cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, salt, pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika and saute until greens have reduced and garlic is fragrant.

To assemble:  remove sweet potato from the oven and place on plate.  Make a slit down the potato and add 1 Tablespoon butter, salt and pepperTop the sweet potato with the sauteed beet greens and 1-ounce of goat cheese.

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