We recently made a batch of pickled beets. I was really surprised at our harvest this year as last year was a little disappointing. Well, when you harvest beets, we're also harvesting beet greens. Nobody in our house is too disappointed with that since it's one of The Hub's favs.
To give you an idea of exactly how many beet greens we had to use up, the greens filled 4 (FOUR!!!) plastic grocery bags that were packed. I'm pretty proud of myself because none went to waste. This recipe was one of my more creative uses since mostly we just wilted the greens as I did in this recipe and ate them plain.
For a little more decadence and elegance I highly recommend trying this instead of wilted greens alone.
Beet Green Lasagna with a Bechemal Sauce
10 ounces of lasagna noodles 2 pounds of beet greens 1 tbsp olive oil 3 anchovies 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers 8 ounces Gruyere cheese 4 ounces provolone cheese 3 tbsp butter 3 tbsp flour 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock 1/2 cup heavy cream salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook lasagna noodles in a pot of salty water for 4 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Cut the greens in batches to create ribbons of beet greens. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the crushed red peppers and the anchovies mixing with a wooden spoon until the anchovies have dissolved into the oil. Add the greens in batches depending on how much the pan can hold until all the greens are wilted. Remove from the heat.
Make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saute pan and slowly stir in the flour. Allow the butter and flour mixture to gently cook for about a minute. Slowly stir in the cream and stock until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Create an assembly line with the ingredients - cheese, lasagna noodles, beet greens and bechamel sauce.
In a baking dish begin assembling the lasagna. To avoid sticking on the bottom start with a spoon full of bechamel sauce spread over the baking sheet. Next layer the noodles to cover the bottom of the pan. With your fingers, spread 1/3 of the beet greens evenly over the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the beet greens and then spoon more bechamel sauce over the cheese. Continue layering the lasagna, beet greens, cheese and bechamel for 2 more layers. The lasagna should be topped with a layer of noodles, bechamel and cheese. Cook at 375 degrees until bubbly and golden, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes to allow to set.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.