I planted some beetroot seeds and I was impressed with how big the leaves were, but very small beets. So, I wondered if the leaves are edible and indeed they are. So, I came up with the idea of a beetroot leaves stir-fry, as a side dish. We had this with mix veggies fries (carrot, parsnip, and beetroot) and mock-meat. It was really good and I would happily make this again. I am planning to sow some beet seeds these days, in the empty growing sack I grew these ones.
I cooked the beet greens but not the beets. I like that they are a bit crunchy and they add to the flavour of the side dish. Of course, you can cook the beets if you fancy. Also, I’ve added the oil at the end as it feels more rich without adding lots of fat to the dish. You can add the oil from the beginning if you prefer it that way.
As for the spices, I’ve used za’tar, but you can use Mediterranean spices instead, if that is more to your taste. The beet greens are a bit more flavoursome than spinach, but they benefit from spices, of course.
Ingredients for beetroot leaves stir-fry:
– a bunch of beetroot
– Macadamia oil
If, like me, you’ve grown your own beets, make sure you are washing each leaf with plenty of water. I brought in a spider without realising it, after harvesting. If you buy them in shop or at a farmer’s market, then the beets are bug free, so a quicker wash is all they need.
Cut the stems and discard them. Cut the beets and leave them on a side. Chop the beet leaves and put them on a plate. They will cook very fast, so it is better to chop them before heating up the pan. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Toss in the leaves and add a couple of spoons of water. Leave to cook. Alternatively, you can heat up some oil and add the leaves afterwards.
When the leaves are starting to wilt, add the oil and the spices and stir. The beet leaves should be cooked within 5 to 10 minutes. While the leaves are cooking on the hob, peel and chop the beets. Take the leaves off the heat and toss in the beetroots.
Now the stir-fry is ready to be served.
Have you ever had beet greens? How did you prepare them if you had?