It was only up until a month ago that I learned that one could eat Beet Greens, those deep dark greens with dark pink stalks. Here is how it happened. I was in line at Whole Foods and this very handsome Frenchman behind me asked how I was going to cook the beets. I told him I was roasting them. Then he asked how I was cooking the greens. “Um, you can eat these?” I asked, feeling bad that I have thrown them away in the past. “Oui you eat them,” he said with a handsome smile. “Ok Mr. French man if you say so,” I said trance-like. He told me to sauté them up in oil with what ever spices I chose and now I love Beet Greens too. And trips to Whole Foods where French men teach me how to cook. These leaves are nutrient rich and a great way to get those deep dark greens into our bodies. The leaves are sweet like spinach but have the chew of kale. Stir fried with garlic and nutmeg they cook up tender and delicious.
Wash greens thoroughly and spin dry. I left my leaves whole but you can slice them if you desire. In a large pot, over med-high heat, heat oil and quickly sauté garlic but do not brown. Add the beet leaves, a few pinches salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Stir occasionally. Sauté for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium and cover pot for about 5 minutes. Recheck seasonings and serve greens hot. These greens do have more chew than spinach, mimicking kale so if you want them more tender cook a little longer. I personally liked them at the ten minute mark as I don’t like my greens cooked into baby food. You be the judge, experiment a little. These greens are very good and not bitter at all. They are very pretty too! Serves 4-6
Now that you know how to Roast Beets it is time to take those lovely roots and turn them into Harvard Beets. Last Thanksgiving I asked my husband and parents if they liked Harvard Beets and surprisingly they all said yes. It is one of the ways I enjoy beets and hoped everyone else would be game. I took my MIL’s recipe and another I found in Taste of Home and made up my own for a delicious and strikingly beautiful dish on my Thanksgiving table.
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar, I used white balsamic
3 T. ketchup
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 t. Kosher salt
2 T. whole cloves
1 1/2 cups beet juice, this is the liquid in the pan from roasting them
3 T. cornstarch
9 roasted beets cut into wedges
1 t. vanilla extract
In a large pot over med-high heat, add sugar, vinegar, ketchup, butter and salt. Place cloves in a coffee filter and tie shut and toss in the pot too. I used a tea ball to host my cloves, you can see it in the picture above. Bring the sugar mixture to a simmer and lower heat to medium and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix beet juice with cornstarch until smooth. After the 10 minutes add the beet juice mixture to the pot and stir for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thickened and glossy. Add the beets and heat through. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve hot. Serves 8.
Note: You can substitute canned beets if you would like, but fresh is the best.
A Constant Source Of Entertainment: Children on Elderly
A few years ago I had a job in which I brought homemade meals to the elderly. One of my clients was 103 years old. I needed to drop off a meal to her by 6:00 pm and my boss allowed me to bring my children. Before dropping off the meal, I drilled my children on their manners and behavior. I also told them that this lady was 103 and probably the oldest person they have ever met. I told them who was president when she was born and a few other tidbits like she did not have a microwave, GameBoy, or a computer when she was a little girl. Or a car for that matter! They were amazed. The visit went well, my children were well behaved and my client enjoyed meeting them. Throughout the visit I noticed that Deven, my then 6 year old, was very pensive, quiet, and stared at the lady quite a bit. When we got to the car I asked him what he thought of the oldest lady he ever met. He thought for a bit and finally said, “Oh, I thought she would be much bigger.” Kids.
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