Ever since I started getting my CSA basket three years ago we have tried more new vegetables and eaten more vegetables in general. What a big difference in mine and my family’s health! The first year though receiving things like unshelled peas, kale, bok choy, beets and lots of squash required that I find a bunch of new recipes and fast! I just didn’t know what to do with everything that was coming in my basket.
Recently I have been fielding a lot of questions on how to cook kale and beets. I am going to give two quick and easy recipes here. The broscht recipe will come in the fall so stay tuned!
This recipe works for any leafy green veggie (spinach, kale or even BEET greens). Cut the greens from the stem (or the vegetable) if they are still attached. Wash but do not dry the leaves. You will need to cut or tear the spine off of the kale leaves before cooking. If you would like, chop the greens into rough pieces about 2-3″ square (do not mince!!!). Heat 1 Tablespooon of oil (olive if you would like) in a skillet. Add greens and season as you wish. I usually put in salt, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. For the tender greens leave the pan uncovered and toss the leaves a couple times while cooking. Cook for only 2-3 minutes until the green just start to wilt. For the kale you will want to through a lid on the skillet, if you don’t have a big enough lid, use a cookie sheet. Again cook for only 3 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.
The beet greens are great in pasta salads or served with the cooked beets.
The kale is wonderful along side other strong flavored meats: grilled steak or ham.
I grew up loving beets so I have never understood the aversion people have to them. Then again I also loved brussel sprouts and lima beans as a kid. I think what is familiar is good so if you have never tried these vegetables as a child your aversion may just lie in their unfamiliarity.
Beets are very simple to prepare but they take a while to steam. I will often cook them the night before (while I am cooking my other dinner) so they are ready when I need them. First cut of the greens (set aside to saute those as above). Wash the beets. The water and your hands will likely turn pink! Then place in a pan, cover with water and a tight lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1.5-2 hours. They are done when they are tender like a potato and the skins slip off easily. Let cool before peeling. I will often slice and store in the fridge so that I can enjoy them with future meals. They are delicious with butter and salt.