A lot of greens. Beet greens.
It took me a while to really appreciate beet greens. I’ve never been a huge fan of beets – the intense colour always made me feel they were untrustworthy. Shifty, even. (Should vegetables really be that red/purple/burgundy?) And the flavour always reminded me of slightly sweet dirt. And the texture was… weird. I’ve learned to like them though, especially when paired up with strong spices. (I made a few batches of pickled beets last summer with fenugreek that were actually pretty amazing, but that’s another story.)
Beet greens have a lot of that same beety flavour of the full grown veggie, but it’s toned down quite a bit, and the leaves have a nice, mellow chard-like flavour. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually look forward to them in spring. But just like the beets themselves, I like them best with some strong flavouring.
Lately, I’ve been eating my greens with hot Indian pickles. I bought this jar of extra hot mixed pickle at Indian Groceries, located at 2585 Robie Street, and I’ve been adding a little bit to everything I eat. The pickles themselves are extremely salty, quite spicy, and a little sour. They’re also packed in oil with a lot of spices, and I find that the oil is a great way to add the flavour without all the intensity of the pickle. The pickles themselves also taste pretty great, but a little goes a long way.
So this is what I do with my beet greens:
Take about a tablespoon of oil from the hot mixed pickle jar, and put it in a frying pan. Drop the sliced beets into the oil, and fry them for five minutes. Then add the chopped stems, and fry them for another 5 minutes or so. Then, add the chopped up greens, and put a lid on your pan to help the greens steam a little. After a few minutes, take the lid off, and stir everything up with another couple teaspoons of chopped hot pickle.
What’s your favourite way to eat spring greens? Add your comment below!