Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Balsamic Beets with Beet Greens

Serving Bowl of Balsamic Beets with Greens
Simple and Delish

Recipe by Irene

When I asked my Facebook fans recently what they like to do with beets, my friend Irene described this simple recipe as her latest beet idea. I love recipes that combine the sweetness of beets (known as beetroots in the UK) with the earthiness of beet greens. The recipe requires only a few ingredients. It employs the microwave oven to make short work of cooking the beets. While the microwave does its thing, the cook sautés up the stems and leaves. Then beets and greens are combined with a bit of good balsamic. It’s quicker to prepare than most raw beet recipes that require grating, so what’s not to like?

Beets and Greens in Saute Pan
Adding Beets to Greens
Since so few ingredients are involved, it’s important to use a good, sweet, thick, flavorful balsamic vinegar. These can be quite expensive per bottle, but you only need a little of the good stuff for maximum flavor. If you don’t want to buy a really fancy (expensive) vinegar, Lucini makes a good mid-priced balsamic, and Napa Valley Organics makes a tasty and even less expensive alternative—plus it’s organic.

Since Irene didn’t list any specific quantities, feel free to adjust the amounts of ingredients to your liking, as I did. I used minimal butter and oil to sauté—adding a touch more butter at the end will provide a richer taste. Fine tune the balance of balsamic, salt, and pepper as you like.

Closeup of Balsamic Beets with Greens
Red and Green Interest
Balsamic Beets with Greens
serves 4 – 6

1 large bunch beets, ~1½ lbs.
1 tbsp. water
½ tbsp. butter
½ tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. sea salt
~4 grinds black pepper
1½ - 2 tbsp. high quality (thick) balsamic vinegar

Scrub beets and cut into large bite-sized chunks, about 1 inch x ½ inch. Put into large covered baking dish or bowl to microwave.

Wash beet greens. Chop stems into ¾ inch pieces and set aside in another bowl. Chop or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Add 1 tbsp. water to beets, cover dish, and place in microwave. Total cook time will be about 5 - 6 minutes per pound. As the beets microwave, you will be cooking the stems and leaves on the stovetop.

Microwave the beets on high, covered loosely, for 2½ minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium to medium high heat and stir in olive oil. Add beet stems and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes, until they get fairly tender.

When microwave finishes, stir beets thoroughly and microwave for another 2½ minutes.

Add leaves to pan with stems and stir to coat with oil. Cook until evenly wilted and dark in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Check beets to see if they are done to your liking. If not, stir them and microwave again at 2-minute intervals until they’re done. I microwaved mine for 4 additional minutes, or 9 minutes total for 1½ lbs.

Remove microwaved beets from bowl with slotted spoon and place them in pan with greens. Stir to coat with oil and reheat greens if necessary.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thick balsamic vinegar. Stir and taste, and adjust seasonings if desired (you could also add another teaspoon or two of butter).

Remove to platter or bowl and serve immediately.

Beets and Greens in Basket
It's All About the Beets

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