Do you feel as if you’re overwhelmed with greens? Besides salad greens, you have spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, radish greens, collards, mizuna, mustard greens, arugula—you name it. What to do? Shrink them. Wilt your greens down to manageable, edible amounts. A pound of greens, occupying half of the veggie bin in the fridge, cooks into just about 2 cups of tangy cooked sweetness.
You want to trim the center rib and stem off most greens. With chard and beet greens, reserve these ribs, dice into pieces and sauté with onion and/or garlic. Last night I made Spaghetti with Beet Greens and the beet ribs tinted the spaghetti pink. I still have a stash of Pesto 2008 in the freezer so I added 3 large dollops of pesto for seasoning. If you don’t have any pesto, add a couple of minced garlic cloves with the onion and beet stems.
1 large bunch beet greens
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced
About 1/4 cup basil pesto
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar or other vinegar or lemon juice
Sea salt and red chile flakes
Wash the beet greens. Trim the leaves from the ribs. Cut the ribs into 1/4-inch pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until it is tender to the bite (al dente).
Over medium high flame, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and beet stems and cook and stir until the beet stems soften a bit. Add the garlic, if using. Chop the beet greens into 1-inch ribbons and add to the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens wilt and shrink. Stir in the pesto, and gently toss in the cooked spaghetti, stirring to mix well. Sprinkle with the vinegar. Season to taste with salt. Serve red chili flakes at the table for those who like some heat.
Makes 2 or 3 servings.