I love beets. Being half Ukrainian, I was born to love these tough purple roots (I think my brother was adopted, he’s not such a fan). Borscht was how I consumed them as a kid, a violently purple concoction with faint orange overtones (oil) and loaded with potatoes, beans, and other tasty ingredients. Mom made a terrific borscht that I just haven’t been able to recreate yet.
That said, I wasn’t even aware you could use the greens in cooking until a friend mentioned last summer that she loved cooking with beet greens. When I came down here to Argentina and we found our vegetable stand that we love so much, I saw that they sold beets with the greens still attached. In my attempts to make borscht, I found that we had a bunch of greens left over and no way to use them. To the Internet! Another food blogger that I had looked in on now and then got a gig writing the DinnerDiary at The Daily WD. Most of the recipes are pretty meaty, but every now and then a real winner comes up. I found this one, which I call Beans and Greens on Bread (yup, I’m the creative one), on there and adapted the recipe from that. The other greens are fairly replaceable, the first time I made this I used arugula, the second time I used acelga, and the most recent time (the photo here), it was straight beet greens, as I forgot to pick up an accompanying green to go with it. All tasted fine. I’m sure spinach or any other dark green would be terrific in this. This makes a wonderful appetizer, but if you make a few for yourself (as I did here) you can even have it as a nice lunch. Here’s the original post.
One thing, it’s important to salt the greens enough, they need it to help bring out their natural delicious earthy flavour, otherwise they taste bland.
Beans and Greens on Bread
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 lb greens (beet greens + other greens, such as arugula, acelga, or spinach)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c water
1/2-15 oz. can of beans
salt & pepper
parmesan or other freshly-grated cheese
Cook the onions and beet greens in a little oil until they are softened. Add the garlic and arugula and continue cooking until these are wilted. Add the water and beans and flavour with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the water has mostly boiled off.
While the greens are cooking, toast pieces of bread, scrape a cut piece of garlic along the toasted side, then drizzle with olive oil. When the greens are done, layer them on the bread and top with cheese.