Most of you are probably thinking that it’s about time we introduce a beet recipe. We agree. Our blog name has convinced friends that we devote our time in the kitchen experimenting with this crimson colored vegetable – but we don’t. Nonetheless we love beets for their flavor and striking characteristics and they rank on top of our veggie hierarchy.
Nowadays you can find various colorings of the roots – white, golden, red in different shades, candy-cane striped rings – but until fairly recently beets weren’t red and didn’t have much of a root. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate the leaves as a salad, and overtime the roots became desirable for its high sugar content and they were cultivated for its tuber than foliage. Pretty interesting, right?
We chose to make this pasta because it calls for almost every part of the beet and leaves no waste. The green leaves are a good source of fiber, minerals and antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular and other diseases. The savory also balances out the sweet and we have to mention the natural dye that transforms the pasty-pale pasta into a vibrant pigment.
This recipe is no different than the others we share here – so simple and tasty. After cooking, eating, and cleaning, the only activity left on our agenda was beach time. We took a stroll to absorb the summer sun and started packing our bags to head home, when we realized a little too late that we had forgotten to slather on some SPF and our faces were slowly turning red as a beet.
Yields: 4 people
*Adapted from Edible Boston*
4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb young beet greens, trimmed, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup water or vegetable stock
3 cooked beets (roughly 2 cups)
3/4 lb cooked noodles of any shape
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup cheese of choice
1. Peel the skin off the beets and cut in half. Place beets in boiling water for 40 minutes on medium heat, or until they are soft. Make sure to place a lid on top of the pot so you don’t have the sanguine color of red beet roots splattered everywhere on your stove. If the juice soaks into your white shirt (yes, I screamed and someone in the kitchen told me “You can’t fear the beets”), there is no need to panic; beet juice does not affix to fabric. Once the beets are soft, dice them.
2. Make the pasta and set aside. You can use any shape for this.
We chose pannochia. Yum.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan set on low. Add garlic and cook until just soft.
4. Add the beet greens and cook stirring occasionally until they are wilted and tender.
5. Add the water or stock, cooked noodles, and diced beets.
6. When the noodles are hot, stir in the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.
7. When ready to serve, scatter the cheese of your choice on top. If you’re lactose intolerant, goat cheese compliments the sweet beets and walnuts really well, but salty feta would be a great choice too.