One of the best parts of having your own garden is the harvest. As fall settles in, the harvest gets into full swing. Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and beets are all just begging to be plucked or pulled and eaten.
Sunday, after a glorious day of extended summer, I decided to make supper from our backyard bounty. After a quick internet search I found a few recipes online and decided that I’d roast some beets and carrots and serve them over sautéed beet greens.
I’m a big advocate of using as much of your plants as possible, beet greens especially. Beet greens are packed with nutrition and have the added benefit of making you feel full while having a low glycemic load. Beyond the large amounts of vitamins and minerals they contain, beet greens are also high in protein containing all of the essential amino acids (though it’s not a “complete protein”).
Ukrainians Love Beets
Beets have a lot of cultural significance for me being of Ukrainian decent. Beets and their greens work their way into many of the traditional foods for us Ukrainian-Canadians. Growing them reminds me of my mother and of my heritage. It’s a weird thing – but I feel particularly happy as I watch my beets grow all summer. Making a dinner of them makes me feel connected with, and proud of, my family and heritage.
So beets it is! Riffing on a recipe I found online, I made the meal below. The beets and carrots were perfectly roasted, tender but still firm (not mushy). The sautéed greens had a unique texture, not gummy or limp like boiled spinach, but not crisp either. They were chewy, earthy and a perfect counter to the tart of the vinegar and sour of the feta.
From backyard farm to kitchen table, this recipe provided four healthy and mostly organic, inexpensive and tasty meals. Mom would be proud!
1 bunch beets (with greens)
2-4 large carrots
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons diced Onions
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup of crumbed feta
½ cup of walnut pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350oF (175oC).
- Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and then remove the greens. Rinse the greens, removing any limp or yellowing stems or leaves.
- Wash the carrots thoroughly and remove the greens.
- Place the beets and carrots in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Separate the beet greens from their stems. Chop the stems in to centimeter long pieces.
- Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces
- When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion and stem pieces, and cook for a minute. Add the torn beet greens to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the sautéed greens with the red-wine vinegar and divide the mixture onto the dinner plates
- Sprinkle the feta and walnuts onto the greens.
- Peel the skins from the roast beets and cut the carrots and beets into bit sized pieces and place them over the greens.
- Serve and enjoy!