Thrifty in the kitchen. Generous at the table. That would be the cooking mantra I grew up with. If you bought beets, you'd use both the tops and the roots. My grandmother steams beet greens in water and dresses them with a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. The sour cream dressing is one she makes for salads. I combined the two. Because isn't that what's supposed to happen to family recipes? —Amanda Hesser
2 to 4
sour cream (not low-fat)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Greens from 2 bunches (8 to 10) medium beets, trimmed and washed
In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Season with pepper.
Pour ¼ cup water into a large sauté pan. Spread the greens in the pan and cover with a lid. Set over medium high heat and once you hear the water steaming, toss the greens with tongs. Continue steaming and tossing the greens until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more water to the pan as needed; there should be just enough to steam the greens with out water-logging them. Use the tongs to transfer the greens (leaving the water behind) to a mixing bowl.
Spoon a few tablespoons dressing over the greens. Add more as needed. Spread the greens on a platter, and serve.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.