Beet and Turnip Greens
Beet greens. Who knew? Well, everyone, I hope. I’m on a personal mission to get eaters to enjoy their beet greens instead of—gasp!—throwing them away. And turnip greens, too. We may buy these foods for their roots, but the greens are equally attention worthy. They are as tasty as any other sautéing green, such as the newly minted rock star, kale—so much so, that you should really consider the health and vibrancy of these greens as much as the roots when you are purchasing your beets and turnips, so you can be sure you enjoy the one-two punch of both terrific parts of the plant.
You can treat beet greens as you would Swiss chard in many recipes. Their tender texture and mild flavor blend easily into dishes and make them very versatile. Turnip greens are a smidge more bitter. You can use them in recipes where you would normally include Asian choys, broccoli raab, or other hardy greens. Both beet and turnip “bonus” greens also have enough flavor to stand alone and are delectable in dishes that highlight their unique taste and texture.
Greens and Goat Cheese Pizza
Call it a nifty shortcut or a sneaky cheat, but using a tortilla as a pizza crust makes this little homemade pie a snap. Whip it up for lunch or a light dinner, or cut it into squares and serve it as an afterschool snack or cocktail nibble. I use sautéed greens and goat cheese as the toppings here, but you can riff on the recipe with any combos that you like: traditional tomato/mozzarella, Swiss/mushroom, fig/blue cheese and on and on. You can also use any size tortilla you have on hand or even rectangular lavash, if that’s what’s in your fridge. You can scale the goat cheese spread up or down, depending on the size of the pizza. It’s all good. Really good.
Makes one 12-inch pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups beet or turnip greens, from 1 bunch of beets or turnips, leaves separated from ribs and leaves chopped, ribs diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces goat cheese, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons milk
1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
1 (12-inch) tortilla, lavash, or wrap
Place the oil and garlic in a medium-size sauté pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Set over medium heat. The garlic will transfer its flavor to the oil as the pan warms. When the garlic begins to sizzle, but before it browns (2 to 3 minutes), add the diced ribs to the pan and sauté until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens to the pan and toss to coat them with the garlic and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium-low, and sauté until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
While the greens cool, combine the cheeses in a medium-size bowl, mashing with a fork to blend. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk, as necessary, to thin to a spreadable consistency. Add the thyme, if using, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Spread one side of the tortilla with the cheese spread. Strew the greens on top. Transfer the topped tortilla to the pan used to sauté the greens and set over medium-low heat. Allow the pizza to cook until the tortilla is toasted and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the pan, cut into serving pieces, and serve.
Excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.