Thanksgiving Beets Part II: Beet Greens and Harvard Beets

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.


Beet Greens
Greens from 9 beets, stems removed
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
Kosher Salt
ground black pepper

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.

Harvard Beets
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.


Isn’t that the prettiest color?

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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16 Comments

  1. avatar Sheila
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    It isn’t everyday you learn something from a handsome Frenchman. I will have to try the beet greens. I love greens, and this would be new for me.

    At least you had briefed your son and he didn’t make the comment in front of the lady. My son would have, and probably said some other things to mortify me.

  2. avatar HoneyB
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    I really love beets. I love the earthy smell and I really love them pickled! Your other post really reminded me of my mom when she would do up her beets and how stained her hands would become! You really have my mouth watering right now! lol

  3. avatar Alexa
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    The color is gorgeous and so is your rendition. What a wonderful job you had–must have been really fulfilling. Cute story!

  4. avatar That Girl
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    I bet I would like beet greens more than beets!

  5. avatar RecipeGirl
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    That’s a cute story :)

    Though I think I’ve know that you can eat them, I’ve always tossed them. Next time I have beet greens though I will be thinking of your Frenchman and saute them up!

  6. avatar Karen
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never eaten the greens. It just doesn’t occur to me, which I think may be from growing up in New England. We ate beans, not greens :)

  7. avatar Veronica
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    Both of your beet recipes look so beautiful…the colors are incredible. I love beet greens. I don’t often make beets, but for Thanksgiving I think they can’t be beat (no pun intended!).

  8. avatar noble pig
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    What beautiful color, I just love, love beets, they are one of my fave indulgences.

  9. avatar anudivya
    Posted 11/10/2008 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    Yes, that is sure a pretty color. Nothing beats the color of beets!
    First time here, lovely blog. :)

  10. avatar Joie de vivre
    Posted 11/11/2008 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    Can’t beat an introduction to a vegetable through a Frenchman with an accent can you? I love that your son thought the woman would keep growing. It makes perfect sense to a six year old.

  11. avatar Grace
    Posted 11/11/2008 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    ah, nutmeg–secret best friend of any and all greens. :)
    meanwhile, that’s a hilarious story. you should send nuggets like that in to reader’s digest and earn some extra $$. :)

  12. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 11/11/2008 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Sheila- Not everyday! Thanks for the comment. I don’t think you boys would mrotify you!

    Honey B So glad to have brought back memories!

    Alexa- It was a great job, I really enjoyed it!

    That Girl- That greens are great!

    Recipe Girl- I would like to try then in a salad. Do you have a good recipe, or do you just toss then in any salad?

    Karen- Yes we ate alot of beans in Beantown!!

    Veronica- They are perfect for Thanksgiving!

    Noble Pig- I am now peeing Purple. Thanks!!

    anudivya- Thanks for stopping in, Thanks for liking it here!

    Joie- I love how kids think, so literal!

    Grace- I sent in a story once and never heard from them. Maybe it was a bad story! I love nutmeg!

  13. avatar Paentere
    Posted 09/12/2009 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Yay for sauteing beet greens! I made an awesome dish a while back: onion, garlic, beet greens, balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed orange…i think i even put a little feta cheese on top. it was killer good.

  14. Posted 10/26/2012 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how
    to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

    • avatar Robin Sue
      Posted 10/29/2012 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

      The only thing I can think of is that I had done some work from another big website and that story got picked up by Yahoo news, so that is all I can think of. Sorry.

  15. Posted 12/12/2012 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thanks!

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