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Author Notes: My friend Marina, who grew up in France, often jokes with her husband about the advice Americans offer for preparing leafy greens. They both volunteer at their local food co-op, and whenever they ask for a recipe, people always say "just saute it in olive oil with garlic". This anecdote was on my mind a few months ago when faced with a head of beet greens from a bunch of beets I'd bought at the market. My thoughts wandered to creamed spinach. I figured "why not", guessing a warm bath in some milk might tame their bitterness, while softening them up, too. A little bit of grated potato is my secret for thickening this up a bit. A generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg makes the whole dish sparkle. - Jennifer Perillo
Serves 1 to 2
- 1 head of beet greens (from one bunch of beets)
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup (237 ml) milk
- 1 fingerling potato
- Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Separate the leaves from the stems (you can save the stems for juicing). Using a paring knife, remove any thick "ribs" from each leaf. Add the greens to a salad spinner, or strainer, and rinse to remove any dirt. Pat the greens in a towel, and coarsely chop them (you should have about 2 cups/85 grams worth); set aside.
- Melt the butter and oil in a 2-quart pot. Add the shallots. Cook until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beet greens. Season with salt and pepper (I season generously with the pepper for extra oomph, but feel free to go light if you prefer).
- Pour in the milk. Using a hand grater, shred the potato into the pot. Add the nutmeg, and give it all a good stir. Heat the mixture until just before it comes to a boil (you don't want to scald the milk). Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Continue to cook at a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Remove from the heat, and let sit in the pot for 1 to 2 minutes to finish thickening up. Serve hot.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens