Wednesday, August 10, 2011
If you haven't heard, cold soup is all the rage. Because it's too friggin' hot outside for warm soup, and I'm not about to give up on soup all together. One of my new favorites is this cold Borscht from my last post. So let's say that you bought a big, beautiful bunch of beets for a big beautiful batch of cold Borscht. If you buy them at, say, a farmers market, or if you're just supremely lucky, they will come with their lush greens still attached. And, just like with radishes, you should never, ever throw these greens away.
I've braised greens before. But probably never to the kinds of raves I got for these. Which is funny because it was quite literally a free recipe. Greens that just came attached to the main event, and a bunch of kitchen cupboard ingredients thrown together. In this case, no additional grocery shopping was required. You could do this same thing with any green you happen to have, and in her book Alice Waters suggests tossing them with pasta for a complete meal.
Beet Greens Braised with Raisins
Adopted from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters
1 bunch beet greens
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 glove garlic, passed through a press
Oil for the pan
Salt and pepper to taste
Splash of red wine vinegar
Put the raisins in boiling water and let them soak for 15 minutes until they're nice and plump. Drain and set aside. Tear the beet greens from their stems and tear the leaves into pieces. Chop the stems into 2 inch pieces.
Warm some oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion and the garlic together with the bay leaf over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the beet stems and cook for two minutes, then add the leaves along with the raisins and a splash of vinegar. Cover the pan and cook the greens for 5 minutes until wilted. Uncover the pan, season with salt and pepper and add a sprinkling of mint leaves. Remove the bay leaf and serve.