Luscious Beet Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Dressing:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Salad:
4 large beets with greens

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 bunch beet greens

3 cups fresh arugula, washed and spun dry
2 scallions, finely chopped

¼ pound feta cheese
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well and set aside.  Remove greens from beets.  Wash beets and place in a large pot covered with water, bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until beets are fork tender (about an hour).  Set aside to cool.  Toast pumpkin seeds by placing seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Move the skillet back and forth over the heat with one hand; stir the seeds using a wooden spoon with the other hand.  This will toast the seeds evenly and prevent burning.  When seeds begin to puff up and give off a nutty aroma they are ready.  Remove seeds from skillet and set aside.  To prepare beet greens, put them in a 30-60-second dive into boiling water then out. Squeeze excess water out of the cooked beet greens and chop.  Peel beets by holding under a trickle of cold water and pushing the skins off with your fingers. Cut into small cubes.  Put cubed beets, greens, arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds and scallion in a salad bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.  Crumble feta cheese on top.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  Preparation time: 1 hour to cook beets, 15-20 minutes to assemble salad.  Makes 6 servings.  From Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.

 

Risotto with Beet Greens & Roasted Beets

This rich-tasting risotto is decidedly pink. Use a full-bodied vegetable stock if you are vegetarian ; otherwise use a well-seasoned chicken or turkey stock. Yield: Serves 4 to 5 generously as a main dish.

3/4 pound beets (1 bunch small), roasted 1 bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed

6 to 7 cups chicken stock, as needed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups Arborio or Carnarolli rice

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 cup red, rose, or dry white wine

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 to 1/2 cup, to taste)

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Season well and turn the heat to low. Stack the stemmed, washed greens and cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frying pan or wide, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the rice and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The wine should bubble, but not too quickly. You want some of the flavor to cook into the rice before it evaporates. When the wine has just about evaporated, stir in a ladleful or two of the simmering stock (about 1/2 cup), enough to just cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly (adjust heat accordingly). Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, stirring often and adding more stock when the rice is almost dry, for 10 minutes. Stir in the greens and the diced beets, and continue adding more stock, enough to barely cover the rice, and stirring often, for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste a bit of the rice. Is it cooked through? It should taste chewy but not hard in the middle. Definitely not soft like steamed rice. If it is still hard in the middle, you need to continue adding stock and stirring for another 5 minutes or so. Now is the time to ascertain if there is enough salt. Add if necessary. When the rice is cooked through, add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and stir in another half cup of stock, the Parmesan and the parsley. Remove from the heat. The rice should be creamy; if it isn’t, add a little more stock. Stir once, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.

Submitted by subscribers Dave and Tracy Dittmer

Curried Cauliflower Bisque with Garlic Greens

Make this soup with a high-quality yellow curry powder.   If you like heat, add a diced Serrano pepper.  This soup is also great made with a little coconut milk in place of some of the vegetable stock.

1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or butter                                           ½ medium yellow onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced                                                                             ½ head cauliflower (4 c.), chopped

1 Tbsp. curry powder                                                                          4-5 c. stock

2 Tbsp. long-grain rice                                                                        Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

3 ounces greens (beet greens, spinach, chard, dandelions, etc.), cleaned, tough stems removed

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter in 4-quart soup pot over medium heat.  When hot, add onion and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften around the edges (4-5 minutes).  Add cauliflower and curry powder and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes more.  Add just enough stock to cover vegetables (4-4 ½ c.).  Add rice, and bring soup to simmer.  Simmer until cauliflower and rice are tender (about 20 min).  Blend soup on High, in batches if necessary, until smooth.  If soup seems too thick, add last bit of stock and reheat until hot.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.  Heat remaining ½ Tbsp. olive oil or butter in medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 30-60 seconds.  Add greens and cook until greens are wilted and tender.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper.  Ladle hot soup into bowls and top with spoonful of sautéed greens.  Serves 4.

Lucsious Beet Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Salad:
4 large beets with greens

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 bunch beet greens

3 cups fresh arugula, spinach, or watercress, washed and spun dry
2 scallions, finely chopped

¼ pound feta cheese
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well and set aside.  Remove greens from beets.  Wash beets and place in a large pot covered with water, bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until beets are fork tender (about an hour).  You can hasten this step by pressure cooking beets as described in the video.  Set aside to cool.  Toast pumpkin seeds by placing seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Move the skillet back and forth over the heat with one hand; stir the seeds using a wooden spoon with the other hand.  This will toast the seeds evenly and prevent burning.  When seeds begin to puff up and give off a nutty aroma they are ready.  Remove seeds from skillet and set aside.  To prepare beet greens, dive them into boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then out. Squeeze excess water out of the cooked beet greens and chop.  If the greens on your beets are wilted or puny, skip this step and use more fresh spinach, watercress or arugula instead. Peel beets by holding under a trickle of cold water and pushing the skins off with your fingers. Cut into small cubes.  Put cubed beets, greens, arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds and scallion in a salad bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.  Crumble feta cheese on top.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  Preparation time: 1 hour to cook beets, 15-20 minutes to assemble salad.  Makes 6 servings. From Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair or http://www.cookusinterruptus.com

Beet Greens Recipe

1 pound beet greens

1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped (or a Tbsp of bacon fat)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 large garlic clove, minced

3/4 cup of water

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/6 cup of cider vinegar

Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.   In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.  Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.) Yield: Serves 4.  http://www.simplyrecipes.com