BBBH and I were walking the dog in the open field behind our house, as is our wont. A neighbor several doors north of us cultivates and maintains a very nice little garden. As she walked by this little gem, BBBH noticed that the gardener had harvested his beets, cut off the tops and discarded them on his compost pile. She called this to my attention and I had a fistful of greens in my hands at once.
I never cease to be amazed at the profligate behaviors of some folk but this one puzzles me greatly. Why on earth would someone plant and nurture beets then cast off the best part of the plant? Now I like beets, I mean the bulbous root things, boiled with salt and butter, pickled, or what have you. But the greens are the very tastiest and most desirable part of the crop;. Just sayin'. Over and over.
In my gardening days, I lovingly planted a row of beets. When it was time to thin them, I pulled the plants, teeny-tiny globe and all, cooked them up. Then when I harvested the globes I had greens again. Following that feast, I would plant another row of beets and start the process anew. Well, I don't do that anymore, but I'll fix the greens if you give them to me. Or throw them on your compost pile.
- Wash tops thoroughly in cold water.
- Discard excess stem (on older leaves) leaving five or six inches.
- Boil in large pot until tender. Ten minutes or so.
- Drain; put blob of butter on top (there has been no substitute in this house for years).
- Optional: sprinkle a dab of vinegar on greens
There are any number of recipes for "beet greens" out there, but most of them add a bunch of seasonings and stuff. Simple is better.