Root Greens – in the Skillet

Yes, root greens — you go to the farmer’s market, and you see these lovely beets, or turnips, or radishes, with their greens still attached.  Sometimes they look pathetic (the greens) or sometimes they look sharp and radiantly green.  And healthy, even if they aren’t always entirely green (purple beet greens come to mind here).

In the supermarket, these greens usually look limp, on their last legs, or the shop keeper has removed them.  The greens don’t last as long as the beets, turnips or radishes, themselves.  Hitting up a farmers’ market has plenty of bennies!!

Beet greens

Most of a bunch of beet greens.  Note the hand “selfie”

Just eat the greens within a few days.  The beets themselves have staying power.

As an interesting aside, a mother at the market was noting her son was crazy about the greens; about the beets – not so much.  So she was bent on finding the best greens she could, and ignoring the beet quality entirely.

Root Greens (Beet Greens in this case, but you can use turnip or radish greens, or kale or chard)

* 1 bunch greens (ie, golden beet greens, as depicted here).
* 1 heaping teaspoon of duck fat (if available); ghee or butter (if not available) or sesame oil (if you are looking for a vegan dish).  You want an oil with intrinsic flavor as most of these root greens come with flavor of their own, and a balance is nice.
* 1-2 cloves garlic, depending on size and predilection.  Smash finely.
* Lemon pepper, ground, to taste.

Cut off and wash the leaf greens, individually if needed.  I know my mother’s saying was that you have to eat a pound of dirt before you die, but I’d rather not up the ante before its time.  Nor am I interested in random insect protein in this dish, although I’m interested in trying cricket, grasshopper and a few other things; and I’ve eaten my share of kamikaze gnats on picnics.

Shred it up; I do it by hand.  If you choose to eat the stems, which are good from beets, but can be a little hard if the greens are older, separate them from the leaves.  You’ll want to toss them in the skillet before the greens proper.

Beets, Beet greens

Yep, that’s them. Fresh!

Heat the skillet to medium high, add the fat, let it melt but not smoke.  Add the stems, if using, mix around and follow a couple minutes later with the leaves.  Give the heat a little time — say a minute or two — to heat up and begin to cook the bottom leaves.  Then flip them with a spatula.  Gently continue this every half minute or so — you don’t need to watch the clock — until the leaves loosen enough that you can stir them.  Add the garlic and lemon pepper.

When the veggies are done to your liking — say about 5-8 minutes, but it will really depend on the age and type of greens you are cooking — you are ready to serve.  The healthy fat included in your cooking will help fat-soluble nutrients become more readily absorbed through your gut.  Besides, it tastes good.   And as for the water soluble nutrients — eat along side a glass of water or cup of tea.

Beet greens

Most of a bunch of beet greens, cooked to the above recipe


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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2 Responses to Root Greens – in the Skillet

  1. Root greens in a skillet are my fave way to eat well, root greens especially beet greens. LOVE adding some raisins and pine nuts too 🙂


    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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