Beets are widely available and delicious year round, but actually their peak season is June through October, when they are at their most tender and sweet. When buying fresh red beets, make sure to look for unblemished bulbs with unwilted greens. Whenever you buy beets (there a quite a few varieties out there), it is always a good idea to buy them with their greens attached. That way, it's like getting two vegetables for the price of one. Around here I realized that there are two kinds of markets, either you can often get beet greens for free at the farmers' market because some people ask the vendors to chop off the tops when they buy their beets or it is almost impossible to find beets with their greens attached.
If you make this recipe, remember that it can be used for other types of greens as well. Also, the sautéed greens are fabulous on their own as a side dish, or you can toss the greens with couscous, , grains, your favorite pasta, or add them to a quiche, which I love to do quite often.
Red Beet Top & Goat’s Cheese Bruschetta
- 1 or 2 bunches of beet greens, use whole or chop coarsely if too large
- some good olive oil
- 1 scallions, washed, dried , thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced (optional, to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- a few slices of your favorite country-style loaf or sourdough bread, toasted, cooled
- your favorite soft fresh goat’s cheese (it is nice to use fresh cheese from a local cheese manufacturer, if at all possible
- Wash the leaves in 2 or 3 rinses of water.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet.
- Add the scallion, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until the scallion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Add the beet greens to the pan (with the water still clinging to the leaves) in 1, 2 or more additions (depending on the size of your pan and the amount of greens you are using).
- Stir for a couple of minutes, until the leaves have wilted and are nicely seasoned/coated with garlic and oil.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste, remove from the heat and let cool a bit.
- While the greens are cooling a bit, prepare your bread slices. Toast or grill them, then put them on a platter. Top with goat’s cheese.
- Pile the warm greens on top of the prepared bread slices and serve immedaitely.
When you serve greens, it is always a delicious idea to serve a plate with fresh lemon wedges alongside, as a lot of people, including my family, enjoy a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice with their cooked greens.
- goat's cheese from Milchziegenhof Minten (here)
- beet greens from the farmers' market in Jülich, Germany (here)
- pretty ceramic platter crafted by Monika Hilger from Keramik Design (here)