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Spicy Beet Greens

It’s been a good summer. A summer filled with time spent with our families, birthdays, beach days, laughs and love. And it’s been a summer of good change — like my decision to pursue full-time freelance writing. As a result, we’ve been able to spend much time outdoors, enjoying sand and surf.

The other day, my brother and I pushed off from shore in twin Walden kayaks (if you haven’t heard of Walden Sports, they are a great company that uses recycled plastic to make the kayaks). Our oars cut and dug through the water until we reached a point far off from shore and stopped to rest and relax. The boats rocked gently in the choppy waves as jetskis and motorboats sped farther out. It was pure bliss.

That is how we spent our last weekend of the summer. He and my sister go back to school this week. Soon, Will will join them. Summer, although technically still going, is over. The warm weather remains, but the carefree days will soon turn to harried efforts to get homework done, be on time for this school event or that, be serious, be focused.

But we’ve all had a good summer here. We’ve also had a lot of good food. Fresh food, made with just-picked ingredients. Soon, it will be winter and the vegetables we use will come frozen, not fresh. For now, though, we eat fresh whatever we can.

It was only a few years ago that I discovered that all produce is not created equal. In a former lifetime, not that long ago really, I had no problem eating the (slightly bland and strangely unsweet) winter strawberries from far-reaching countries. Sure, they were an expensive, once in a while treat. But nonetheless, it was a once in a while treat during the cold winter months.

Now I know better.

Before I learned though, I didn’t realize how many tasty and delightful types of greens existed. Kale? What’s that? Swiss chard? I heard it’s yuck, right? Beet greens? Those are edible?

Yes, they certainly are.

The recipe here is a delicious way to use beet greens. I suggest eating them over rice or on top of a protein like a firm fish or chicken.

Spicy Beet Greens

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 bunch beet greens (from about 6 beets)

  • 3 large cloves garlic

  • 1 large beefsteak tomato
salt and pepper

  • hot chili oil


    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

    Chop the stems of the beet greens finely -- I hold them in a bunch and just chop, chop, chop up the line until I reach mostly greens. Then place the stems in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally. (Cook for about 5 min before adding the garlic.)

    Mince the garlic cloves finely. Add to the skillet. Continue cooking and stirring for about 3 minutes before adding anything else.

    Chop the beet greens (the leafy part that you set aside earlier) coarsely. Add to the skillet.

    Dice the tomato -- you want it to be on the smaller side -- a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch dice. Add to the skillet.

    Stir in salt, pepper and hot chili oil. Adjust the hot chili oil to your tastes -- I use 5 shakes. If you prefer less spicy, then use less. A little goes a long way here.

    Cover and let cook for about 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

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Sunday 29th of August 2010

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