Friday, May 22, 2015

It’s been ages since I actually posted a recipe, especially one for Turkish mezes.

Well, with spring here, it finally means my favorite market, Hala Mirowska, is bursting with local green and white asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, herbs, baby potatoes and beets. That means I’ve been in the kitchen taking advantage of all this fantastic produce and making some simple dishes like baby potatoes with butter and dill and steamed asparagus with lemon.

But the latest dish is the one I want to share with you. Last week, I roasted some baby beets with olive oil and sea salt. Since the beet greens looked so vibrant and fresh, I decided to treat them exactly the same way I did with my Turkish spinach roots. In the Turkish kitchen, you never throw any veggie scrap away. Something can always be reused or repurposed into something else like soup, Turkish börek or gözleme
Lots of lovely beets at my local markets right now here in Warsaw!
Imagine – fushia and green-colored tender beet greens sautéed with Turkish olive oil and lots of garlic, seasoned with a generous pinch of Turkish pul biber. So delicious and healthy!

I served up my beet greens meze alongside those baby potatoes, roasted beets and grilled steaks. A perfect spring dinner at home for two.

Smacznego or Afiyet olsun since this dish is almost Turkish!
Beet Greens Meze
1-2       Tablespoons    olive oil
6-8       ea.        cloves of garlic, roughly chopped (You can never have too much garlic!)
220      g.         beet stems, trimmed to 1-2 inches in length
300      g.         beet leaves
Generous spoonful of pul biber (red pepper flakes), if you like it spicy like we do
To taste           salt and freshly ground black pepper

(Note:              The amount of beet stems and leaves will vary depending on the beets you buy where you live. My amounts are from 2 bunches of beets here in Warsaw. This recipe can easily be adapted to your own taste and the amount of beets that you have.)

In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté  the garlic for a few minutes until softened.

Then add the beet stems with just a little water to help them cook. Cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add the beet leaves. Replace the lid. The leaves will wilt and cook down just like spinach. Cook briefly until everything seems tender.

Season the beet greens and leaves with pul biber, salt and pepper.

This meze can be served hot or at room temperature.
Separate the beet stems from the leaves since the stems will need to cook 
a few minutes longer than the tender leaves.

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Julia said...

I used to absolutely detest beetroot but Turkey has changed all that. Pickled, in a salad, in a soup - we'll eat them alone or with anything else these days. Love them. This looks great. :)

Joy said...

Me too! I grew up eating canned beets my whole childhood. I never knew they tasted so good until I was in my 20s! :-)