Beet greens are the leaves of the beet plant and can be enjoyed either cooked or raw. This is a simple sautéed beet greens recipe that is easy to prepare for a side dish to any meal.
While many vegetable gardeners grow beets for their roots, the tops are a delicious bonus harvest. The foliage is high in fiber, and a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Beet greens can be gathered at any time from baby leaf stage or more mature at around 5-inches tall. If you are growing beets for the roots, you can snip a stalk or two from each beet plant without compromising the root growth.
Harvest the entire plant once the root is around 2-inches in diameter. To avoid damaging the greens, use a digging fork to loosen the soil under the beets, and then gently pull the roots out of the ground.
Separate the beets from the tops, leaving about 1 inch of stem attached to the root to help prevent bleeding. You can store freshly harvested beetroots in the refrigerator crisper drawer for about a week, or store them in a root cellar or cool basement for several months.
Wrap the greens in a damp paper towel, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days. To keep greens fresh longer, place the cut ends in a jar of water, and store in the refrigerator. Replace the water every few days, and use within a week for the best flavor.
How to Make Sautéed Beet Greens
My favorite way to use beet greens is to pan-fry the leaves in a little olive oil and season to taste. You can use any type of greens for this recipe including spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or any combination of greens you may have on hand.
The full recipe can be found at the bottom of this article, but here are the steps to sautéing beet greens:
Step 1: Prepare the Greens
Rinse the beet greens well under clean running water to remove dirt and hitchhikers. Sort through and eliminate any foliage that is damaged, wilted, or badly eaten by pests.
Remove stems, slice, and set aside. Leave the foliage whole, or cut into pieces. The easiest way to do this is to stack a bunch of leaves, then roll them lengthwise into a cylinder, then slice the roll into ribbons from one end to the other. You can then chop them further into smaller pieces, or leave them in rustic strips.
Step 2: Cook the Greens
Heat the olive oil a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, cut beet stems, and red pepper flakes, and sauté until the garlic and stems have softened slightly.
Add the beet greens, and toss to combine. Add enough water to prevent sticking, and continue stirring until the water evaporates, and the greens are wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enjoy sautéed beet greens as a side dish topped with a little grated Parmesan cheese. You can also toss the greens with pasta, or stuff them into an omelet. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container, and use within a few days.
Sautéed Beet Greens Recipe
- Rinse the beet greens well under running water. Remove stems and slice thin. Leave the foliage whole, or cut into rustic pieces.
- Heat the olive oil a skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and cut beet stems. Sauté until the garlic and stems have softened slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Add the beet greens, and toss to combine. Add enough water to prevent sticking, and continue sautéing about 5 minutes longer, or until the greens are wilted and the water evaporates.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve warm as a side dish. Refrigerate leftovers and use within a few days.
You May Also Like:
- How to Grow Beets
- Oven Baked Beet Chips Recipe
- Rustic Roasted Root Vegetables
- How to Grow Vegetables Indoors
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.