Beet Greens with Brown Rice

I didn’t try beet greens until very recently.

I signed up for a share from a local CSA, Main Street Market, this summer. Every week from May until this October, I will get fresh fruit and vegetables delivered by bicycle to my home. It’s all local and organic, and tastes so much better than anything store bought. As you will soon learn, I don’t quit talking about it, and encourage you to seek out your own CSA options wherever you are.

So last week, I got a beautiful bunch of fresh beets in my share.

Fresh, delicious beets!

I love beets, so that was great in itself. But I wasn’t about to waste the green goodness sprouting out of their tops, so after sticking the beets in the oven to roast (recipe here!), I scoured the internet for some inspiration.

How could I let these go to waste?

Most of the entries I read informed me that beet greens can be prepared in ways very similar to swiss chard, kale, and other tough leafy greens in general.

I decided to combine the greens with brown rice for a hearty side dish, and added fresh sage and oregano to round everything out. The slight bitterness of the greens, coupled with the nutty flavour of the rice and the bright punch of the herbs make it a winning combination. Plus, the purple pigment from the stems colours the rice a light pink, which contrasts beautifully with the dark green… greens.

Yum!

Beet Greens with Brown Rice

1/2 cup brown rice
1 bunch beet greens
1 sprig each of fresh oregano and sage (or, if using dried herbs, about a teaspoon)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions or using your preferred method. I used this method, with the adjusted water measurements, and liked the results.

2. While the rice is cooking, wash and pat your beet greens dry. Chop them up into 1 inch-long pieces, including the stems.

3. In a small pot, heat about 2 cups of water until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beet greens. The amount of time you allow your greens to blanch will dictate how soft they are. I like my greens still a bit tough, so I only cooked them for about 3 minutes.

4. Once the beet greens are cooked to your liking, drain them and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

5. Chop the fresh sage and oregano into small pieces.

6. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice and beet greens (including the stems). Add the sage and oregano. Stir well.

7. Season with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve lukewarm, or cold as a salad.

This is the greens and rice with some roasted beets, roasted zucchini, yellow peas, and feta cheese mixed in for a fresh summer salad.

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