Sunday, July 15, 2012

Radishes, Carrots and Beets... Oh My!

Question: What do beets, carrots and radishes have in common? Answer: They all have nice green leafy tops that usually end up in the compost, while we eat the delicious roots. But guess what? Those greens should be on your dinner plate, instead! Growing your own root vegetables (or getting them from your local farm or farmers market) is like getting two vegetables for the price of one.  There are literally hundreds of recipes floating around the internet for beet greens, radish tops and carrot tops.  A quick Google search will give you plenty to choose from! I like to use carrot tops in soups, along with the carrots! The greens have a nice, carrot-y flavor and those green lacy leaves look just beautiful in the bowl.  I’ve used radish tops tossed into a stir fry (along with some shredded radishes) or tossed with pasta.The radish greens have a nice peppery  flavor, a little bit like arugula, but not quite.

But my favorite root vegetable top by far is Beet Greens! I love them sautéed, as you would use Swiss chard. In fact, I think they taste very similar to chard! Tonight for dinner we had Millet with roasted beets and beet greens. I love the way beets spread their color throughout whatever dish you put them in… in this particular recipe they turn the millet a beautiful pink! Here is the recipe!

1 cup Millet, cooked
One large bunch of beets, with greens
One medium onion
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Separate the beets from the greens. Scrub the beets, rinse the greens well. Rub some olive oil on the beets, wrap them in foil and pop into the oven at 400. Cook until they can be easily pierced. Meanwhile, chop up the onion. Cook the onion in olive oil over medium-low heat while you’re chopping up the beet greens. When the onions are translucent, add the greens to the skillet as well, cooking until they are wilted.  When the beets are done roasting, peel them and dice them, and add them to the skillet. Add the cooked millet and a little more olive oil (optional) and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sometimes, I like to add a little crumbled feta cheese or some chopped walnuts. You can also substitute almost any other grain for the millet, such as quinoa, barley or brown rice.


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