Last Updated on 31st January 2023 by Pauline Loughlin
Beet greens are the leafy green tops you see on a variety of produce. So, carrots, radishes, and beets all have these green leaves on top that most people will toss out.
If you want to do something with them, and you know how to cook beet greens, you can make good use of that part of the vegetable and practice a little conservation.
You might be surprised how good they taste once you’ve tried a few different methods of preparing beet greens and cooking them up. There are a lot of nutrients in there too, so it’s worth it to try what most people would consider to be just rabbit food.
If you don’t know what to do with beet greens, you may try cooking them and not like the results. When not cooked properly, they can be gritty and tough.
What Are Beet Greens?
Some vegetables have leafy tops that are edible, and they have a salty taste and a unique texture. That makes them difficult to cook up like normal veggies. It’ll take extra work to make this part of the vegetable edible and tasty, but with all the nutrients they provide, you might find it worth it.
After you’ve cooked them and made them tender, you’ll probably find that the beet greens are pretty creamy and packed with flavor. Try my method below for how to prepare beet greens, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how they taste. If nothing else, you can say you gave them a try.
One of the things I like about the greens is that they are naturally quite salty. I would suggest giving them a taste before you season them. Some people find that they don’t even need to season them because of how naturally flavorful they are.
How Do You Cook Beet Greens?
I want to share with you a quick and easy method for cooking up beet greens. You can cook them on your stovetop in a large skillet. You only need a little oil and perhaps some minced garlic to cook in with them to give them a more vibrant flavor.
Be sure to wash the beet greens thoroughly, getting rid of any debris that may be in your bunch of greens. You should chop them as well, but it doesn’t have to be very neat. A haphazard chopping creates a typical beet green dish, and this is known as rough chopping.
Read up a tablespoon of oil in a skillet on medium heat on your stove top. Then, add in the garlic and cook it until the garlic takes on a golden color.
Then, add in the beet greens little by little, in small batches. As each batch is added, let it cook until it starts to wilt. Then, adding the next batch. Keep cooking the greens and for about 9 minutes. They should be tender and soft when they are finished cooking.
Taste test the greens when they’re done cooking and add salt and pepper for taste if desired.
How to Eat Beet Greens?
You know now what is beet greens and how to cook this dish, so let’s talk about how they’re served up. They are sometimes served on their own as a side dish but can also be a main dish with meat.
Typically, beet greens are served in the southern United States with sliced sausage, particularly Bratwurst or another thick, flavorful sausage.
So, if you’re wondering how to use beet greens, they’re typically cooked together with the sausage and then incorporated into a meal along with sides like cornbread, mashed potatoes, pasta, baked beans, potato salad, and other southern staples.
You can leave the sausage out, and I think you’ll find that the beet greens pair well with grilled or fried chicken.
How to Store Beet Greens
Beet greens can last for a while if they’re stored properly. Typically, you store fresh beet greens in the fridge. You should wash them before you’re ready to cook them up, though, as this will help them to last longer.
Beet greens should be stored in the fridge in the crisper drawer or vegetable drawer in a plastic bag.
How to Freeze Beet Greens?
You can store them in the freezer, but you’ll have to prepare them a little bit differently you would for refrigerator storage. They should be washed completely and the end should be removed.
You can leave them whole in the freezer or slice them into smaller pieces. They should also be blanched, which simply means putting them under boiling water for a few minutes.
Follow that up with an ice water bath to finish off the blanching process and prepare them for the freezer. Then, dry them off with a paper towel or a dishrag, or you can just take off the extra water.
Then, store them in a freezer bag or an airtight, freezer-safe container and place them into the freezer right away.
How long can you expect greens to last in freezer storage? If you’ve gone through the process I gave you above and you’re storing them properly, they can last for up to a year and still tastes fresh when you take them out.
They’re still edible after that, but they may lose some of their freshness and flavor. I know some people like to buy them while they’re in season in certain parts of the country and freeze them for when they’re ready to use beet greens in their cooking.
No matter how you’re storing your beet greens, you’ll want to make sure they’re not going bad. How do you tell if they’re starting to turn unsavory?
If you see mold and discoloration, then it’s best to get rid of them or chop off the affected parts. Give them a sniff as well, and if they smell off in any way, you should discard them.