Pink Greens

By • September 18, 2009 • 24 Comments

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Author Notes: Whenever I cooked beets I felt like I needed to do something with the greens. They are always so beautiful and it seemed a shame to waste them so I did some tests and found my favorite way to eat them. - Marisa Grace DesmondMarissa Grace

Food52 Review: This may be the most thoughtful sauteed greens recipe we've ever encountered. Beet greens (which we think deserve more attention in the kitchen) are usually wilted in hot olive oil with a little garlic, and they're delicious this way, but Marissa Grace Desmond plotted out ways to amplify the greens' sweetness while tempering it with chilies. She has you brown garlic with shallot and red pepper flakes, then layer in sugar, black pepper and salt, before adding the greens and wilting them. Just before serving you splash the beet greens with sherry vinegar, which electrifies the whole dish. The key here is the sugar, which caramelizes with the garlic and tightens up the sauce, so by the time the greens are cooked (and beet greens should really be cooked), it wraps the greens in a cloak of sweet and fiery sauce. (By the way, we doubled the amounts here so it would serve 3 people; if you do this, add vinegar to taste.) - A&MThe Editors

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch beet greens
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  1. Wash and trim your beet greens. If the stems are very thick it is worth trimming them back a bit.
  2. On medium heat, saute the garlic, shallot and red pepper flake in the olive oil until slightly browned. Add black pepper, sugar and salt.
  3. Place the beet greens into the pan, pour the water on and immediately cover. Do not remove the lid for a few minutes to allow the greens to wilt. Once they have cooked down, remove the lid and stir all of the ingredients together. Cook for a few more minutes allowing the water to evaporate.
  4. Just before removing pour the vinegar over the greens. Remove, serve and enjoy!
Jump to Comments (24)

Tags: savory, simple

Comments (24) Questions (0)

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17 days ago Barb

Great recipe. My husband doesn't usually like greens and he said these were the best greens cooked like this that he's had. I think the sugar really helps tame the bitterness, and the vinegar adds a nice touch at the end.

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7 months ago Jo

This was incredible! An added surprise to the joy of making roasted beets! And I'm trying the suggestion listed below next!

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10 months ago amy jackson

I love this recipe-delicious, simple, healthy, and beautiful. You might enjoy Andy Nusser's "Fusilli alla Crazy Bastard" (after the famous Charles Borsotti cartoon): it's basically your pink greens with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes ("loosened" with some pasta water) and fusilli.

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over 1 year ago Jackie317

Is there an alternative for the Sherry vinegar?

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Red wine vinegar works. Maybe a little less. (Taste and see.)

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over 2 years ago Tbird

I made this for my family tonight (along with quinoa and lamb chops). I loved. My 11 year old loved. My 6 year old liked. My wife... Not so crazy about it. I got these greens from my friend's garden this weekend and was wondering what to do with them. Thanks for the recipe!

Epietzsch

over 2 years ago borntobeworn

I made these tonight and they were fabulous! Looking forward to more greens from my friend's garden :)

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almost 3 years ago fitsxarts

I made Nigel Slater's chocolate-beet cake tonight and this was a terrific precursor -- since i had the greens on hand. Cut the sugar down to 1 tsp, which was all the greens needed. Brilliant call on the sherry vinegar, thanks for a great recipe!

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over 3 years ago ashleyamore

So wonderful! @maryvelasquez, this reminds me of a dish I used to eat in Rome- a 'spaghetti saltata in padella' - with the addition of cabbage and mushrooms. Add a little provolone or parmigiano, and voila, transported to an eclectic little restaurant near Campo dei Fiori.

Still, this is fantastic as is. What a delicious way to enjoy beet greens. Now, what to do with those beets. . .

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over 3 years ago friendlyoaks

Well almost 2 years later I finally tried these. Absolutely fabulous! I used chard because that was what I had on hand, but any greens would be great. I have flight plans later this week and plan to tote a sandwich of these greens with fried halloumi cheese for lunch enroute. I will be a very happy traveler.

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almost 4 years ago familydinners

I made this tonight...awesome! Everyone loved it, even the veg haters.

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almost 4 years ago Teri

I finally got to make this Sunday night. It was great!

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about 4 years ago KLL5

I was underwhelmed by this recipe. But maybe I did something wrong?

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about 4 years ago GoodFoodie

Needs more salt...

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over 4 years ago alli51

This recipe would work great for various types of Asian greens (which I typically just cook with a bit of oil, kosher salt, and some soy/fish sauce and maybe some chicken broth). This will be much more interesting!

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over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Marissa--I made this last night with spinach and arugula instead of beet greens. It was great.

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over 4 years ago chez danisse

Saving. Thanks!

Winnie100

almost 5 years ago WinnieAb

I made these pink greens tonight- was cooking up the beets for the beet recipe challenge and have been wanting to try these forever- they are fantastic! I substituted a little chopped onion for the shallot and used Meyer lemon juice instead of the vinegar. I'd never think of adding sugar but it works so well here...great recipe!

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about 5 years ago GoodFoodie

Absolute beet green fan (as well as swiss chard -- which could work with this as well??) ......can't wait to try this!

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over 4 years ago Marissa Grace

I've used both chard and kale for this recipe and they have come out well. I like the beet greens the best as they give the pink hue to the sauce and are more tender!

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about 5 years ago mariaraynal

I usually use garlic, lemon and parmesan to cook greens (sometimes a bit of pancetta), but this is an excellent alternative. Yes, it would be great with pasta!

Junechamp

about 5 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have never used sugar in my sauteed greens. Will have to give it a try.

Kroka_kitchen

about 5 years ago maryvelasquez

This dish is very flavorful! It would be great with pasta.