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How to cook beetroot tops

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Beetroot tops (or beetroot greens as they are also known) are the leaves you find attached to whole fresh beetroot. They are not only edible but delicious.

It is hard to tell the difference between beetroot tops and fresh spinach – in fact we much prefer beet greens. The best thing is that when you buy fresh beetroot, they come free as part of the package. (If you buy beetroot without its foliage, you not only miss out, but you won’t know how fresh the beetroot really is.)

How to cook beetroot greens

Treat beetroot greens or tops just the same as spinach. Shred them finely and wilt them in a pan with olive oil or a few spoons of water; or steam or boil them briefly.

Chinese soy and garlic beetroot greens recipe

Rinse the beetroot greens, slice and fry in a tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil and sliced garlic until they wilt. To finish, season with soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot or cold.

Beet greens with Pancetta

Fry sliced beet greens in olive oil until wilted and reserve. Fry pancetta cubes or bacon lardons in the pan over medium heat. When golden, add a chopped clove of garlic and a finely chopped red chilli and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. Mix the cooked beet greens, pancetta or bacon, garlic and chilli in a bowl. Add a little sherry vinegar and a spoon of Dijon mustard to the oil left in the frying pan (if there is none left, add a little more). Heat gently and use just enough of the dressing to coat the beetroot leaves.

 

Photograph © foodpixies.com

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