Monday, September 5, 2011

Beet Green Gratin

When I buy beets, I often tell myself I'm going to use the greens, but inevitably they end up in the trash. Which is a shame, really, because they're a viable food--chard is actually a form of beet stem, according to Alton Brown (I tend to believe him). But like celery tops or fennel fronds, I often save them until they wilt or take up too much refrigerator real estate, and then, since I haven't thought what to do with them, they get tossed out with the trash.

But not last night. Oh no--this time, I had more use for the greens than the beets themselves. In fact, I have two beets leftover, waiting to be roasted some night this week. This time I found a recipe in my Good Eats cookbook--a beet green gratin. I had to modify it a bit--I didn't have a full pound of beet greens so I rounded out the filling with some finely diced potatoes and the flesh of two beets (which, of course, turned the mixture pink, even after several rinsings--I am convinced that beets' pinkiness could be parlayed into enticement for little girls to eat their vegetables--pink potato puree!). Together with some sauteed mushrooms and garlic and a ricotta cheese mixture to bind it, this was a delicious and hearty vegetarian dinner. Good eats, indeed.

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