While there is more to Polish food than beets, I would like to feature just one more recipe that stars these ruby roots.
Do you know how much food Americans waste every year??? No, I won’t tell you, because it’ll be too upsetting. But it’s a lot. And we have a tendency to get rid of perfectly edible parts of produce all the time (green part of leeks, broccoli stems, etc.) that just need a little love, and usually garlic.
Beet stems and greens are some of these neglected and discarded items. And they are one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth…just ask the BBC! So, next time you see beets with their lovely green leaves in your fridge, give this recipe a try. It’s particularly nice when the greens are still hot. I also had a tiny bit of leftover celery root that I shaved and added on top of this salad which added nice crunch, but totally not necessary and not included in the recipe below. Now go forth, and eat all the unwanted foods of the world! Smacznego!
- 8 beets with stems and greens (or fewer if roots are large)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (or any other nuts or seeds)
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- freshly cracked black pepper
Cut stems off of beets. Wash beet roots and peel skin off. Cut the beets in 1 1/2 inch cubes (small beets can be halved, medium ones in quarters). Wash greens and stems well with warm water.
Preheat oven to 385F. Put the cut beet roots on a baking sheet and toss with about 1 tbsp of oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, flipping the beets about halfway through.
Meanwhile, place a pan on medium heat with about 2 tbsp of oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Roughly chop beet roots and stems and add to the hot pan. Crush garlic cloves and add them to the pan along with several pinches of salt and black pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Break garlic cloves with the back of your spatula or wooden spoon as they soften. Once the greens cook down substantially and the stems are soft, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Place beet roots and cooked greens on a platter and sprinkle walnuts and fresh dill or parsley on top. You can squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle salt on top as well.