Golden beet and beet greens salad

Golden beets with beet greens and yogurt sauce makes a fabulous side dish.

One side effect of this summer, with the drought and odd swings of unusually hot and unusually cool temperatures, is that our garden is maturing late. Our tomatoes are ripening late, our fennel more or less went to seed without ever growing, and our cauliflower still doesn’t have heads on it, even though the plants are huge.

Our beets are at least a month behind schedule. I pulled up and froze a batch about three weeks ago and another just last week. We still have some small ones in the ground, and I’m not sure if they’re still going to grow more.

The delay with the beets meant that some were ready when my mom visited. That almost never happens because beets typically come on in July, and my mom usually visits in August. But I thought it was nice since we are growing golden beets, and they can be hard to find and expensive at markets.

The night that Mom made London broil, I made a side dish using the golden beets and their greens. We all loved it, in part because it had a very nice yogurt sauce that accompanied the beets.

And, I’m becoming more fond of beet greens, probably because they are helping make up for our lack of spinach this year. One of the nicest thing about summer is having fresh greens, and with the heat turning our lettuce bitter and the deer eating our spinach, it wasn’t looking like this would be much of a gardening year. But, I’ve been using the beet greens in place of spinach in a number of dishes, and that has worked out well.

For the side dish, I used a recipe from the New York Times, with a few modifications to account for my lack of fresh dill and laziness. Here’s my version:

Golden Beet and Beet Greens Salad

Main ingredients

  • 2 pounds medium golden beets in skin, well washed
  • 12 to 16 ounces beet greens
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

For the vinaigrette

  • 1 very small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill

First, roast the beets. Wash them, cut the big ones in half and lay them in a baking dish in one layer. Add about 2 inches of water to the pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour, until you can easily stick a fork in them. Remove the foil, pour off the liquid and let cool for a few minutes, then peel while still slightly warm. Cut into wedges and set aside.

While the beets are cooking, wash and cut the beet greens into 1-inch ribbons. Place them in a frying pan and cook briefly over medium until they are wilted.

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant and just lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette: Put the onion, garlic and vinegar in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes or so, then whisk in the remaining ingredients.

Make the yogurt sauce: Put the yogurt in small bowl. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, cayenne, cumin-coriander mixture, dill, mint and olive oil.

Season the beet wedges lightly with salt and dress with half the vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, lightly salt the greens and dress with remaining vinaigrette. Arrange dressed beets and greens on a platter and top with a little smear of the yogurt sauce. Pass the rest of the yogurt sauce at the table. This makes about four servings.

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One response to “Golden beet and beet greens salad

  1. That looks good! Love beat greens!

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