This is such a simple, basic recipe it seems almost silly to post. But really, when I search for recipes to see how other people handle a food such as beet greens, I want to read even the simple ways. I will probably tweak the recipe when I make it myself, and I assume you will tweak my recipes. It’s in our natures. I have no problem with that!
My P.S. brought home two big bunches of beets, stems and leaves included. I was happy; I love the greens as much as the beet itself. It is excellent stir fried with a little bacon grease or some diced bacon itself. A fast and almost fun vegetable to cook for dinner, it of course has lots of good nutrition as well.
I cut the stems and their leaves off of the beets and stored the beets in the fridge for later. I trimmed up the stems, removing the more ragged leaves and discarding them. Once I had the fresh stems and leaves all trimmed up I washed them well, emptying and refilling the water several times in the large bowl I was using.
Finally I spun the stems and leaves in my salad spinner to remove most of the water. I stored them in zippered plastic bags with a couple of folded paper towels to absorb the extra moisture. I do that with most of my vegetables so that they last longer. These beet greens were only going to be stored for a day or two. I was eager to chow down on them!
It was actually the same day when I was able to make the beet greens as a side dish for dinner. I’d made lasagna zucchini sliders for dinner and wanted a tasty side dish. Garden salads were a given, it’s that time of year. The beet greens would be the bonus vegetable. With bacon.
I diced some thick cut bacon finely and sautéed it in a large skillet until it was browned.
I stirred in a teaspoon of minced garlic and let it cook for about a minute then added the greens and some of the stem pieces.
I let the greens wilt a minute or two then added the pepper flakes along with some salt and pepper. I stir fried them until the stems had lost their crunch. I taste tested to make sure they were tender.
I turned off the heat and let the greens sit for a minute or two while I served up the rest of the dinner.
The greens were SO good! They’re a rare treat in a very short growing season here up North. They are very similar in taste to Swiss chard, but more colorful. I like the little hit of heat from the pepper flakes to round out the salty goodness of the bacon. The crisp bacon pieces add a nice crunch of texture as well.
We need to hit up a few more farmers markets and repeat the treat more often!
Beet Greens and Bacon
2 strips thick cut bacon; finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic; minced
4 cups beet greens and stems; cut about 2” long
large pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat until browned. Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds, stirring well.
Add greens and stems and fry for 3-4 minutes until stems are tender. Add pepper flakes, stir well, and salt and pepper to taste.