Don't throw away those hearty green leaves that top fresh bundles of beets! They have a flavor similar to kale. This simple recipe will help you make the most of your fresh beets.
4 teaspoons olive oil
Large bundle of beet leaves, stems and leaves
4 peeled garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoonful ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
4 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or Harissa, optional
In a large sauce pot, boil 5 cups of water with a generous pinch of salt. Meanwhile, rinse the beet leaves well to remove all sand and dirt. Then, cut the leaves and stems into half-inch-thick strips. Boil the beet greens for 3 minutes and transfer to a colander to drain.
While beet greens cool, in a medium frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic. After 30 seconds, add the cumin, paprika and turmeric. Stir and add the beet leaves, and sauté for three minutes. The fresh leaves will shrink and the volume will be significantly reduced. If you’re adding hot pepper flakes or Harrisa, now’s the time to stir it into the greens.
Lower heat and continue tossing every 30 seconds or so, until the stems and leaves soften, for about fifteen minutes. About a minute before the greens are done, add cilantro. Taste for salt, and add as needed. Toss greens with lemon juice, transfer to a serving bowl, and enjoy.