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Chef’s table: Beet greens salad

July 29, 2009

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Serves 6

When beets are on the menu at Tomasso Trattoria, the staff is likely to be eating beet greens. They’re nutritious and delicious, here blanched and sauteed, then topped with a lemon vinaigrette, chopped tomato, and toasted almonds.

Greens from 2 bunches beets
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted until golden
1. Rinse the greens thoroughly in several changes of water.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the greens. Blanch 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. With your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop the greens coarsely.

3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When it is hot, add the greens, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the greens are tender but still bright colored.

4. Transfer the greens to a bowl.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour the mixture over the greens and toss well. Add the onion, tomato, and almonds. Toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you like. Adapted from Justin Melnick, executive chef of Tomasso Trattoria