Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two Hearts That Beet As One

Leaf beets, where have you been all my life?
Mark and I recently had a revelation similar to the one a couple of years ago when we discovered ground cherries. Intrigued by a rave review in the Fedco catalog, we ordered some leaf beet seeds to supplement our spinach crop, which always seems to peter out too early in the season.

Leaf beets are basically beets that don't have an edible root. But the leaves are completely delicious, and I actually like them more than spinach. They don't squeak between your teeth, they're a little more succulent than spinach, and the flavor is unexpectedly savory, almost salty. The whole family chowed down on a big bunch at dinner tonight, and I didn't hear a single complaint from the kids.

Internet wisdom tells me that leaf beets are an ancient vegetable that lost popularity once spinach came on the scene, but I don't get it. Why eat spinach when you can have these tasty, crunchy leaves instead? They're even more heat tolerant than spinach and can grow right through the summer, like chard. And they're prolific as all get-out, not spindly like spinach plants can be.

I'm already brainstorming recipes.


nachmanfam said...

we eat the beet greens from our csa (in addition to the beets themselves). they're pretty awesome in duck soup.

Kate said...

We like beet greens, too, but this is a totally different animal--or vegetable, as the case may be.