I am always drawn to beets at the farmers market but usually stand staring at them for a good 5 minutes trying to think of something brilliant to do with them, before deciding that I always make them the same boring way and awkwardly moving on. Today I decided was the day to a) not look like an idiot at the farmers market and b) explore the exciting possibilities out there of beet cookery. What draws me to beets is the ability to use the whole thing, root to leaf, but not many recipes take advantage of this. Beet greens get very little love but they are just as delicious and versatile as swiss chard – and they come already attached to the beet. Bonus! So while there are more steps to this recipe than I might normally like, it is totally worth it.
BEET & AVOCADO SALAD WITH MISO-BRAISED BEET GREENS
1 lb beets, greens removed and set aside
1 lb baby bok choy
2 tbl Dijon mustard
3 tbl rice vinegar
½ cup toasted sesame oil, plus more for sautéing greens
3 scallions, white and green parts sliced thinly
2 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
1 tsp miso paste
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Wrap each beet in foil (individually wrapping the beets allows for more precise cooking) and place them all on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow casserole dish. Cook for 20-45 minutes – start testing the small beets after 20 minutes, they are done when a knife pierces to the center.
- Meanwhile, clean and dry beet greens. Remove stems, roughly chop the leaves, and keep in the fridge until ready to use. Do the same with bok choy.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to rub off the skins, cut beets into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
- Wisk together the mustard and rice vinegar, whisk in the sesame oil. Cut avocado into cubes (same size as the beets), combine with beets, scallions and dressing.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil in a sauté pan, add beet greens and bok choy and stir until just starting to wilt (1-2 minutes). Pour ¼ – ½ cup water into the pan (enough to just cover the bottom of the pan), cover and let simmer 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, and miso paste. When greens are done, turn off heat and stir in the soy sauce mixture.
- Plate with greens underneath beets and avocado or toss everything together – either way will be delicious.