Beets are so stunning. I’ve never really appreciated them until I started getting a CSA. Now, I wish the season wasn’t so short. I especially love beet greens – so much flavor.
If you’re not sure about beets, try slicing them thinly, tossing them with olive oil, spreading them out on a sheet pan, sprinkling them with salt (and maybe rosemary too) and roasting them at 350 for about 15-25 minutes. Voila, beet chips!
I saw this beet gratin recipe long ago on Pinterest but made it for the first time last night. It’s now going to be difficult preparing beets any other way. To save time, I roasted the beets on Thursday night while I was making dinner. Last night, the gratin took hardly any time to put together.
I had already used my beet greens for a dinner earlier this week, so I replaced them with spinach. I barely wilted the spinach before adding them to the other ingredients, but if you’re using sturdier greens (like beet or turnip greens, chard or kale) you’ll have to sauté them until they’re starting to wilt. The original recipe called for blanching them first so that’s another option.
The original recipe was for two pounds of beets so I reduced some of the ingredients to match what I had on hand – one pound of beets. However, I didn’t reduce the Gruyère because Gruyère. I also added some Parmesan to the top because why not.
Beet and Greens Gratin
You’ll need a baking dish with lid (I used a 9×9 casserole), disposable gloves (if you don’t want beet stains on your fingers), large skillet, large bowl and a spatula.
1 pound beets
6 ounces beet greens or other greens – spinach, chard, turnip greens, kale, whatever you have – roughly sliced – I pile them up and slice across the pile every inch
1 tablespoon or more of extra virgin olive oil
1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil or cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped chives or scallions
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the greens off, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish, preferably one with a lid. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets for 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets for 50 to 60 minutes. They’re done when easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered dish. At this point, I put on some disposable gloves. Cut away the ends and peel off the skins – I just use my fingers to do this. Slice crosswise, about 1/8” to 1/4” slices.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, and add the greens. Sauté until starting to wilt. Add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Season the greens with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 375. Oil a baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Beat together eggs, salt, pepper, milk, chives and Gruyère. Gently stir in the greens and beets. Scrape into the baking dish. Top with Parmesan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until set and lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Original recipe: Beet and Beet Green Gratin, Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times