I am still on a Greek trip in my head. But I have an excuse...the food was delicious. For the most part we ate inexpensive food and it blew American fast food away. It blew American middle level food away. Everywhere in Greece the food was impeccably fresh, perfectly cooked and beautifully served. The mezes served at every taverna were particularly notable.
So let's talk beets.* Greeks have a wonderful way with beets. They serve them with their own greens. Let me add that my sweetheart who despised beets was completely converted. If all you have tasted are canned beets this will open a new world for you. Here is my attempt to recreate a typical taverna Greek beet dish.
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 juicy lemon
1 t Greek oregano
1 bunch of fairly young beets (2-3 inches or less in diameter) with greens
S & P
Marinate the onion with the juice of lemon and oregano.
Scrub and top the beets leaving an inch of green...leave the tail intact (this keeps the juice from leaking). Line a baking pan ( a metal loaf pan works well) with tin foil and place beets in one layer. Cover pan tightly with foil and roast beets til done in 400 oven...1-2 hours depending on size. Test with a skewer to make sure they are tender throughout. Let cool for a a few minutes then remove ends and peel (I use rubber gloves so I can handle them while quite warm and avoid staining my hands). Slice.
Meanwhile wash greens and remove tough stems and icky leaves. Chop roughly. When ready to peel beets, throw greens into a saute pan with a splash of water and cook til wilted/tender which should only take a couple minutes. Drain in a colander and press out excess water. Chop into smaller pieces. Immediately toss with warm beets, EVOO, onions and S & P to taste. Serve with a lemon slice. This is great warm or at room temp, as well as the next day.
*Apologies to my friend, Pim.