Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beet greens and a pinch of smoked paprika

Beet greens with smoked paprika
I love finding beets at the farmers market and today was no different. I bought some lovely white beets today and couldn't resist roasting them in the oven right away. But what to do with all those greens attached to the top of the beets? Normally, Daughter's bearded dragon and our two dogs get the greens. Today, I decided to saute the greens and see how they were. I've never actually had beet greens before, but everyone assured me they were wonderful and you know what? They were right! They were not as bitter as I thought they would be. Instead, they were crunchy, mild, and bursting with fresh flavor. Something like a cross between collard greens and spinach is the best I can describe it.

I roasted the beets in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it. Nothing fancy, but the sugars in the beets begins to caramelize and sweeten the beets until they are so yummy and buttery in flavor. The white beets are deceptive since they look just like a potato when cooked, but taste like a beet.

I sauteed the greens with just a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika. Oh my, what a flavor and kick. The paprika was given to me by a good friend in California and I've been using a little at a time with greens or beans. I knew the paprika would add just the right flavor and I was right. It gave it a smokey, earthy flavor. (Make sure to use just a pinch if you try this. A little too much and it's very overpowering) I originally thought the greens would be more bitter and the paprika would mask it, but there was no need to worry. They were lovely, crunchy and perfect. Unfortunately there wasn't more...

The moral of this story? Don't be afraid to try something new. You never know. I'm hooked on beet greens now and can't wait for Saturday's market. I'm looking forward to candy cane, white and golden beets, as well as the load of greens they'll provide.


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