Beet (Shhh!) Greens

August 20, 2008

Each and every one of us has a list of foods that we love, a list of those we don’t like but will eat if we have to, and a list of those that we won’t eat. My “won’t eat” list is pretty simple, any kind of animal and okra. And actually, if it is deeply hidden in a veggie gumbo or something like that, I might even try a bite of okra. My husband Randy’s list is pretty simple too, although the confounding thing is that it doesn’t mirror mine. His “won’t eat” used to include lentils and peas along with beets. I have since taught him that peas doesn’t have to mean canned mushy peas (although I have to admit that I LOVE those too) and now he happily eats fresh peas in things like risotto and Indian dishes. He has even eaten them all by themselves as a side dish with a little butter and dill and said he really liked them. Lentils he will tolerate, especially if they are the Le Puy kind which keep their texture more than the plain brown kind. Here is the lentil conundrum…he loves red lentil dal which, texture-wise, is not much different than split peas, or mushy peas. But there is no figuring him out.

But beets. Oh beets. I so love beets and they are so in season right now and he so hates them. I must say, he is a good sport about periodically trying them but I don’t think he can be converted. I will say the last bite of yellow beet he tried he hated less than the traditional red ones – note to self. So what is a beet lover to do? Try and trick him! I have heard so many times that the greens that come attached to the beet are one of the most delicious of the greens family (think chard, kale, etc). So, when I bought all the beets for the Market Fresh Dinner, I kept the greens and am going to saute them tonight. They will go around or on top of a large crouton which will be topped with a copious amount of sauteed mushrooms (a Randy favorite), and a poached egg or two. I’m hoping the softness of the greens along with the juice of the mushrooms and the yolk of the egg will make the crouton go just the right amount of mushy and the flavors will meld so much that he says, “What is that delicious green taste?”

I’ll let you know.

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