Friday, March 29, 2013

Roasted Beet and Sauteed Beet Greens

When I was a little girl growing up in Alabama, my father grew fruits and vegetables in our back yard.  He also kept several other garden plots around town.  He loved gardening!  Beets were one of the staples in his garden.  My mother would pickle them so that we had beets to eat year round. Beets were a serious part of her preventative medicine practices.  We were told to eat our beets to keep our blood strong.

When my parents separated and our mother moved my sister, brother and me to Cincinnati it was quite a shock to my system.  I was so used to having wide open spaces around me.  Cincinnati seemed to me then and still does, very congested and closed.  It feels as if there is a dome over the city made of glass.  Although I can see through it, I still feel closed in.

More than anything I miss having fresh produce.  There is nothing like the taste of a sun ripened tomato.  I can still taste that wonderful flavor, and feel the slight itchiness as the juice ran down my arm.  We loved sitting on the back porch eating water melon still warm from the sun.  Although, I hated when my brother would spit seeds at me.  It was just so disgusting having seeds stuck to my skin, and having to peel them off after they'd been in his mouth.  Yuck!!!

It's unfortunate that so many people today don't have the pleasure of eating food straight from the ground.  Most people it seems don't think about where their food comes from.   And that is a real problem!  Most of the food sold in grocery stores is not fit for human consumption.  Even the produce has been tampered with.  They've been sprayed with pesticides, covered with wax, and even worse genetically modified.

For these reasons I am promoting the consumption of certified organic fruits and vegetables.  Better yet, why not grow your own?  Many communities are now making small plots of land available for organic gardening.  Connect with a community garden in your area and plant some fruits and veggies.  I promise you that done right, your garden will provide more than enough produce for you and your neighbors.  It's a great way to take back power and control over your own health. The benefits are worth the labor involved.  Plus it's great exercise, and the vitamin D from the sun will do your body good.  For helpful hints and tips for organic gardening check out "All New Square Foot Gardening", by Mel Bartholomew.

Roasted Beet and Sauteed Beet Greens

1 bunch beets with greens
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion(optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar(optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted.

Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the greens as is, and the roasted beets sliced with either red-wine vinegar, or butter and salt and pepper.

Original recipe found at:

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