Sauteed Beet Greens with Lemon Zest

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Don’t throw away beet greens loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.  Saute them instead!

Beet greens are similar to rainbow swiss chard and can be interchanged in most recipes.  Look for just picked beets with the freshest greens (not wilted) found at farmer’s markets and farm stands in season.

Be sure to give the red stems extra time to sauté so they’ll soften before adding greens. Ingredient amounts vary depending on the size of your bunch of greens.

My favorite finish for extra flavor and sweetness is to drizzle aged balsamic vinegar before serving (I love fig vanilla!).

1 bunch beet greens
1/8 – 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/ 4 – 1/2 cup pignoli nuts
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/2  cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter pignoli nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, approximately 10 minutes.

Cut stems from beet greens into 1 inch pieces and add to a sauté pan with crushed garlic. Sauté on medium heat until stems begin to soften, being careful not to brown the garlic. Coarsely chop greens or  if preferred, add whole leaves. Add more olive oil if desired and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to sauté until greens are wilted.  Add lemon zest and raisins, toss and cover for 5 minutes or until raisins soften. Sprinkle with pignoli nuts and top with balsamic vinegar if desired. Serve.

Photo: White Point Imaging

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