Thursday, June 23, 2011

Save those beet greens!

In the heat of summer, eating a pile of steamy sauteed beat greens isn't always high on my list, especially when there is such an abundance of other fresh produce.  This is even more true if I've been hanging around a hot oven roasting beets.  Instead of forcing them down or, worse, tossing them in the trash save the beet greens for when you'll appreciate them.

Clean and trim the beet greens thoroughly (they're usually quite dirty).  You can trim the stems off or keep them on depending on your preference-- I usually leave a bit on.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch the greens for 1-2 minutes.  Transfer them to ice water to cool.  Drain the greens thoroughly and let them sit out for a while to dry.  Now they are ready to freeze.  I recommend against freezing them in one giant lump.  Either divide them into portions reasonable for a meal, or do it my way: line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and divide your greens into clumps of one or two leaves.  Freeze them until they are firm then slide them into a freezer bag.  This allows you to take out whatever amount you might need at any time.

Beat greens are tasty sauteed with garlic and olive oil or added to soups and stir fries.  With a little forethought, you'll have a head start on fall and winter dishes.

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