I was feeling the fall this morning when I went to the farmers market to pick up my produce for the week. The chill in the air and the absence of summer staples (zucchini...goodbye) and the vast and varied selection of beets and parsnips and carrots had me thinking root vegetables.
I have to be honest: I don't love root vegetables. But there's something about root vegetables coupled with hearty greens that can, sometimes, have me swooning. I need more than a medley of dirt-loving tubers, uniformly cut and roasted to make a dish I actually want to eat.
Greens add an interesting counterpoint to the crunch of the root vegetables, and sweet spices like allspice and cinnamon in minute amounts coupled with sauteed garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and a touch of paprika make for an interesting and tasty dish.
Here's how I made this dish:
Roasted Carrots and Beets with Sauteed Kale and Beet Greens
1 bunch small-sized carrots
2 bunches of hearty dark greens, singly or combination of Kale, Chard, beet greens etc
1 bunch beets (if organic, use the greens. If not...don't).
3-5 cloves garlic
Water or stock
seasonings of your choice: e.g. ras al hanout, pinch of allspice, touch of cumin, etc
salt and pepper to taste
Feta or goat cheese for garnish
Roast your carrots.
Preheat oven to 425
Trim and wash the greens. Dry and set aside.
Peel the carrots. Slice into one inch pieces. Toss with spices and olive oil to coat. Add enough salt and pepper to taste.
Roast for 15 minutes at 425 and lower heat to 350. Roast until carrot is tender and carrots start to color.
For the beets - you have options. I like to boil my beets long enough to peel off the skins. Once the skins are removed, slice up the beets into fork-manageable pieces and toss with the same spices as the carrots. Roast in a manner similar to the carrots if cooked. If not cooked, plan on adding another 30+ minutes. I roast them separately and combine them only after cooking to avoid color bleed from the beets.
Meanwhile, add a few tablespoons of oil to a hot skillet with a cover. Throw in garlic, closely followed by the greens. You need to cook these greens down to remove bitterness. Add a little stock or water to help in the cooking. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or so. Don't worry about overcooking these. Once most of the cooking liquid has been reduced, set aside.
Once everything is roasted and cooked, combine the carrots, beets and greens. Adjust salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.