Tag Archives: chard

Beets and Chard!

The vegetable of the week is… beets & chard.  One thing that is interesting about beets & chard is that they are the same species!  They’ve been cultivated for different purposes though.  We grow chard for the leaves of the plant, whereas we grow beets for the roots (& the leaves if we’re eating them in season).

Chard is great sautéed with onions & garlic (or garlic scapes!).  It is versatile & may be added to soups or stews (it’s especially great sautéed in a little olive oil & added to a day-old soup or stew to revitalize the stew), fresh pasta dishes, small fresh leaves can be added to salads.  When we make lasagna we add a layer (sautéed) of whatever cooking greens we have in the house.  Of course you could look back at the blog post about braising greens

Beets are also quite versatile.  They can cut into chunks and roasted in the oven with olive oil, rosemary and whole garlic cloves (try adding a little balsamic at the end as well!), for a less beet-y experience you can roast them with other root & winter vegetables (carrots, parsnips, onion, winter squash, fennel, etc).  We have a friend who mentioned roasting beets with some mint – then serving it cold.  She said it was wonderful!

Beets can be boiled, drained, and eaten warm or cold.  The roots add a bright red color to anything — a small beet (or a quarter of a beet) can be added when juicing other vegetables or fruits for a splash of intense red color.

We even went to a restaurant in Nashville a few weeks back and enjoyed Honey Beet ice cream.  It was lovely!

This photo was taken this past weekend at our local Farmer’s Market.  River to River Farm was selling beets (next to their green garlic).

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Since I (Brian) don’t really like beets, my partner Magdalen wrote most of this post.  She has better grammar than I do & is very excited about beets as you can tell.

How do you enjoy your beets?

Braising greens – what is that?

I was excited to see this morning that one of our favorite farmers (Kris & Adriane of River to River Farm in Tunnel Hill, IL) will be bringing brazing greens to the market.  In their blog they specifically mention that they are bringing a “Brazing Mix (A Mixture of 7 different varieties of Kale and Collards).”

So, what is that? What to do with it?

As many of you know, we love cooking.  We actually cook with kale and collards regularly. Here’s what we do with them.  We sauté them.  That’s it.  Sauté.

Typically this means I start by washing the greens, separating the leaves from the stalks, and loosely chopping the greens.  Meanwhile I have some oil heating in a cast iron pan (low-medium heat).  We typically use olive, but have also braised with coconut oil or canola.

To just straight up braise greens – you just toss them in the heated oil.  Let them wilt while you stir them around some.

We rarely just do straight greens.  Usually, we chop up an onion (this is added & sautéd before the greens go in), add garlic, add lemon juice, add chili powder — or a combination of these.

Serving size wise – this really depends on how many people you have & how large your greens are.  It if is just me, I’ll do 2-3 leaves of collards, 4-6 leaves of kale (lacinato is usually smaller than most — red russian is our favorite).  For more people – add more leaves!  When my partner cooks greens she cooks three times as many for just the two of us (and never have leftovers!).  If we get a bunch of kale from the farmers’ market it is usually good for 1-2 meals.

Different varieties of greens: kale (all kinds), collards, chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, spinach, turnip greens… the list goes on!

Before the photos — just some info about greens.  Many greens can be harvested and served year round.  Some varieties can over-winter (kale is sweeter after the first frost).  You can eat them pretty much whenever.  Often the flavor will change when they bolt (or start producing seed) in the spring if you overwintered them.  Greens add fiber, protein, vitamins (especially Vitamin A) and nutrients to your diet.  Here are the nutritional facts about beet greens (yes, boiled, drained, unsalted, but still greens).  For us, they are a pretty important part of my diet.  I like to eat greens at least three times per week (partner would eat them at every meal if she had her druthers).

Here are some photos of what we’ve done:

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Garlic in kale

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Red onion in beet greensImage

Rainbow swiss chard on the cutting boardImageA finished meal – asparagus, dandelion greens, salmon sweet potato cake, and a cannelli bean tuna salad.

So – those are some of our tricks & favorites.  Let us know how you braise greens & any favorite recipes/tricks you do!  Go get your greens!