I have a new favorite fall vegetable.
Kevin and I spent Saturday morning at the farmers market, one of my favorite places ever. I was excited to find out that beets are back in season! It’s early yet, and unfortunately by the time we got there they were all sold out of the lovely golden beets I prefer, but they did have some beautiful red beets available. I haven’t actually done too much with beets, but because we’ve been trying to experiment with different vegetables (greens in particular), I bought a (small) bunch of beets.
Who would have thought that roasted beets and and sauteed beet greens would turn out to be ANYONE’s favorite vegetable? Not me, that’s for sure. In fact, I was convinced that this dish wasn’t going to work and I’d have to toss the greens and just eat beets and goat cheese. I expected the greens to be bitter and inedible, to be honest. As a matter of fact, I kept repeating that the entire time I was cooking, to the point where I’m pretty sure Kevin was just ready to throw everything out for me so that I’d shut up. I can’t really say I blame him. I can be annoyingly persistent. Particularly when I’m being persistently annoying.
Anyway – as it turns out, beet greens? Are pretty awesome.
Now for all the beet haters out there (I see you on the other side of the computer screen, wrinkling your nose and gagging – I’m talking to YOU!) you really should give these a try. While it may seem hard to get past the dirt smell (Let’s face it, beets really do smell like dirt but come on! They come out of the ground!), but the end result is completely different. the roasted beets have a heady, earthy flavor and the creamy goat cheese gives this dish a pleasant tang.
And the greens? Like I mentioned – I was expecting them to be bitter, but they were surprisingly tender and mild! In all honestly they reminded me of sauteed spinach, although Kevin disagrees with me. He actually liked the beet greens better than spinach!
Bottom line: you should make these ASAP. They are the perfect fall accompaniment for a variety of dishes – we had ours with grilled steaks and onions and it was phenomenal!
Oh. But just remember what I said about beets the last time I made them. Remember their beautiful dark pink/red color when you go to the bathroom. Trust me. You are not dying.
ROASTED BEETS WITH SAUTEED BEET GREENS AND GOAT CHEESE
Serves 4 as an appetizer salad
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
one bunch beets with greens (plan on approximately one medium beet per person)
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (more or less depending on your preference)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop the tops off the beets and coat with olive oil. Place on baking sheet and roast in oven for approximately one hour or until a knife slides through the beet easily. Once roasted, the beet skins will easily peel off – I held the beet with a paper towel in one hand and used a peeler to sort of scrape off the skin – worked like a charm – but be careful not to burn your hands! Once the beets are peeled, dice the beets into medium sized chunks and set aside.
Meanwhile, wash your beet greens well and roughly chop them. I didn’t use the stems, but I’ve seen other resumes that incorporated them so use them if you’d like. In a saucepan, heat your olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add your beet greens and saute for a few minutes – the greens will wilt down much like spinach.
Once the greens are cooked, serve them with the roasted beet chunks and some goat cheese crumbles.