Beets on a bed of their own greens

I like the idea of serving different parts of a food together. This doesn't go quite as far as Squid in a Sauce of its own Ink (a Spanish dish) or Oyakodon (Mother and Child - a Japanese dish with chicken and egg), but it's nice nonetheless.

You can cook the beet roots a day in advance if you prefer. This dish can be served as a light meal or as a side dish. Don't wear your wedding dress or favorite white pants while eating it!


  • Two bunches of beets with their greens (you can substitute any green or mix of greens if the beets are more mature and their greens don't look so good). If you can get multiple types of beets (red, golden, chioggia/striped, etc.), definitely mix and match.
  • One medium onion (red or white or yellow or cipollini)
  • Olive oil - 1/4 to 1/3 cup, plus a bit for cooking the greens
  • Some mild vinegar (wine vinegar or champagne vinegar is good) - about 2 tablespoons. You can use lemon juice instead if you prefer.
  • Two or three scallions, finely chopped AND/OR finely chopped parsley AND/OR finely chopped herbs of your choice (add them a little bit at a time so their flavor doesn't overpower the dish)
  • Some mild, fresh cheese like feta or goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off the beet greens and set aside. Wash the beet roots and pull off any stringy roots. Place several whole beets on a sheet of tin foil and wrap the tin foil around the beets to form a tightly enclosed packet. Repeat until all the beets are wrapped in foil.
  3. Place the foil packets in the oven and cook for about an hour (more if the beets are large, less if they are small). You'll know they're done when you can pierce them to their centers with a fork without too much resistance. Let the beets cool a bit, then rub the skins off with the tin foil (the skins will come off easily this way).
  4. Quarter the beets and toss them in a bowl with the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and the scallions/parsley/herbs.
  5. Cut the onion in half and slice it thinly. Wash the beet greens, removing excess stems, and slice the greens up into smallish pieces.
  6. Saute the onion in a bit of oil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. When it gets translucent and just starts to brown a bit, add the greens and stir them for a couple of minutes until they are wilted. The cooking time depends on the greens--taste them to make sure they are tender enough to eat. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
  7. Make little nests out of the greens on small individual plates (or on the side of your main dish) and spoon some beet quarters on top of the greens. Place small slices of the cheese on top, and serve. This dish can be served at any temperature: cold, room temperature, warm, or hot.
--recipe from David (farmer's brother)

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