Wednesday, November 16, 2011

G is for: Greens {Turnip & Beet}

Beet and turnip greens get new life in this side dish.
One of the many benefits of receiving a weekly vegetable service is that it's opened my eyes to a lot of new foods...specifically the several varieties of greens there are out there.

Chard, kale, collard greens are some of the more common ones, but I also discovered that you can eat the tops of beets and turnips, something I would've never even considered before.

Greens are also SUPER healthy. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.

One week, I received both beets and turnips, which I made in separate recipes, but instead of tossing the greens in the compost bin, I saved them and used them in this very simple and tasty side dish. You could substitute with any type of greens, and double or triple the recipe if you're cooking for a crowd at Thanksgiving.

The beet greens are on the left, the turnip greens on the right. Mine were looking a little sad, so I soaked them in a bowl of water overnight in the refrigerator, and they perked right up! (This technique also helps to get most of the dirt off of them).

I've found the easiest way to chop them is to stack them, roll them up, and then slice them.

Heat up some olive oil (or bacon grease) in a pan and saute the garlic and red pepper flakes.

Add the greens and saute until just wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper (and lemon or vinegar), and serve! (This is a very basic recipe that can be used for any type of greens, and you can also add other things like sauteed onions, legumes, or bacon.)

Sauteed Beet and Turnip Greens

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: side low-carb gluten-free beet turnip

  • 1 bunch beet greens
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on taste)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice or a few splashes of red wine or balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. Wash the greens and dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels. (If greens are looking wilted at all, I would suggest soaking them in a bowl of water in the fridge overnight). Stack, roll, and slice into strips.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes. Add greens and cook until just wilted and tender. (Probably about 5-10 minutes). Season with salt.
  3. Serve hot with a few squeezes of fresh lemon or a few dashes of red wine or balsamic vinegar. (This is optional depending on taste preference).
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