Ever since adopting the paleo way of eating, my husband and I have noted, with pleasure, the progress our two boys have made in terms of the vegetables they enjoy eating. One of the things that has surprised us the most is how much they like beet greens. We discovered this mild tasting green when we grew beets for the first time this past summer. We had been eating all kinds of other greens but had not really thought about using the oft ignored tops of the beet root itself. One night, not wanting them to go to waste, I sauteed the beet greens in butter in the pan containing the meat drippings from a turkey breast I had just cooked. I was halfway expecting the family to turn up their noses but was pleasantly surprised when everyone agreed they were delicious. Unlike some of the other greens like kale or chard, beet greens have a very mild flavor which makes them more appealing to picky eaters.
I have been working on a beet borscht recipe and bought some beets just for that purpose. The bunch, greens and all, was so large that it would have been awkward to try and store in the refrigerator without some prep work first. So I separated the beet roots from their tops, cleaned and chopped the greens and stored the greens and roots in separate zip-lock bags for future use. The paleo diet has meant a decent amount of bacon consumption (yay for bacon!). I have been saving the bacon fat and this evening I decided to combine some of it with the beet greens for a quick side dish for dinner. Here’s the simple recipe:
- 2 large bunches of beet greens (cleaned, stems cut off and rough chopped)
- 2-3 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the bacon fat in a large pan on medium heat.
- Saute the garlic in the fat until fragrant – about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Add the beet greens along with a little bit of water and saute until they are wilted and covered in the bacon fat and garlic.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Makes 2-4 servings