There’s nothing common about beta vulgaris
Some things to do with beets and leaves
Roasted beets vinaigrette
Clean but do not peel beets. Wrap them well in aluminum foil and place them in a hot oven. If you have beets of very different sizes, maybe make a packet with the bigger ones and another packet with the smaller ones. Roast until done (depending on size and age 40 minutes to over an hour) test for doneness by sliding a bamboo skewer into the package (you don't have to
unwrap them to do this).
Allow the beets to cool until you can handle them comfortably. Now cut off the tops and tails and slide off the skins. The feeling of skin sliding off a roast beet is one of my very dearest pleasures. Cut the beets into slices or cubes and dress with oil, vinegar and salt. Add minced dill, cilantro or parsley.
Spaghetti con le barbabietole
Bring lavishly salted water to a rolling boil. Throw in whole wheat spaghetti and baby beets. Cook ten minutes add the beet greens. Fry desired number of eggs sunny side up. Drain pasta and vegetables after total 12 minutes. Put the drained pasta and beets in bowl and add butter, salt, pepper. Add the eggs and mix well so that the yolks become the sauce. Sprinkle copiously with freshly grated parmesan.
The colors of the cooked dish are gorgeous; purple beets, deep green leaves, blushing pink pasta. It does need lots of dairy and eggs, though, so that the greens won’t irritate your teeth.
I urge you also to have a look at these two recipes:
Riso Rosso, a traditional Rosheshone dish from Edda Servi Machlin's first book on cuisine of the Italian Jews (116-117), and the wonderful beet, carrot and zucchini dish from Alfredo Viazzi's Cucina e Nostalgia (76-77). This recipe makes me so happy. It’s perfect.
Ahh, I just took down this book to look at the recipe. I want to live in this book. What I really want is to have the kind of reading life I had about 19years ago when I read this book.
Machlin, Edda Servi. The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews. 2 vols. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984.
Viazzi, Alfredo. Alfredo Viazzi's Cucina E Nostalgia. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 1983.