Beets have a long history as an edible aphrodisiac—the Ancient Romans believed beets promoted loving feelings and enhanced sex appeal, and beets are sometimes used as a pagan symbol for love and beauty.
But beet greens, the leafy tops of these appealing roots, are seldom used. We often toss these tender leaves in the garbage, even though they offer more nutrition than the beet itself. But we can reduce food waste by getting creative with them in the kitchen and avoid contributing to the close to 40 percent of food wasted in America each year.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 bunch of beet greens, rinsed and chopped
6-8 mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch pepper
1/2 pound linguini (use traditional pasta or try one made with quinoa or brown rice)
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté shallots for about 2 minutes, then add garlic and chili flakes and cook for another minute. Add the greens and mushrooms to the pan. Stir occasionally until the greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir. Simmer the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes have softened and released their juices. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and ladle it into bowls. Top the pasta with the beet green sauce and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and goat cheese, if desired.
Tip: If you purchase more beet greens than you can use in one week, simply clean, chop, and freeze them. You can use them later in soup or a vegetable stir-fry.
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies