Weak kneed for beet greens

It’s not every girl that’s going to lose it for a leaf. At my last job I was shopping for root vegetables to roast–yellow beets, red beets, shallots and fingerling potatoes–when I fell in love like the floor was made of quicksand, with the full, fresh, dark green leaves all striped up with jewel red stems springing from their dusty globes.  When I got to work I sliced them right above the root and then dropped them into bags to take home with me later.  Some people could see this as a problem–like my  husband for instance.  “Why do you have to pack up the trash and bring it home in a taxi?”  Fair enough.

I try to think on the bright side about my feelings for vegetable cuttings. Lunch the next day:  Half an onion cut up into a tiny dice, a handful of flat leaf parsley, two basil leaves, one garlic clove, sauteed until completely tender and ready for more with salt and a grind of freshly ground black pepper.  One bunch of beet green leaves, stripped of their stems and roughly chopped, added to the onions along with homemade stock and one tiny, peeled potato for body.  When the leaves are satin and smooth, (about 7 minutes) throw in a box of baby peas, a good pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, and cover.  Let it all go until the potatoes are soft.  Off the heat, blend with a boat motor blender right in the pan, then taste for lemon juice and salt.  Give it a tiny drizzle of your best olive oil, and right in the center, a spoon of fresh pesto.  Serve with parmesan shavings on the side.

Leave a Reply