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Author Notes: Use more, toss less. The carcass from a roasted chicken or vegetable trimmings can be used to make stock, the green tops of beets can be cooked and eaten, stale bread can be turned into homemade breadcrumbs, or bacon grease can be saved and used for frying potatoes and eggs. In other words, we have decided to try to never throw away any vegetable or leftover in our kitchens, unless it has gone bad.
One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to stop throwing it away. The typical American family throws away 14 percent of all their groceries. That means that the most expensive food we buy is the food we don’t actually eat. Plus, it has taken significant amounts of energy to grow and produce the food we eat: from farming, to transportation, to processing, to cooking and then to refrigeration.
Serves 6 to 8
- 3 bunches raw red or yellow beets with their tops, about 6-8 beets
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- Good olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400. Cut tops off beets and trim root ends. Wash in cold water and wrap whole beets in foil with a tight seal. Put in upper part of oven and roast for about 1 hour. Let cool in foil pack for about 20 minutes. While they are still slightly warm, pull off skin and cut into thin slices. Toss with salt, pepper, a good quantity of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Let stand.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pull beet greens away from stem and wash. Place in boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and shake off extra moisture. When they have cooled, but are still slightly warm, chop a bit and toss with salt, olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
- To serve, place greens on a platter and pour beets on top.