Beet and Beet Green Gratin
Yellow to pink? No, I’m not going to filly my pages with beet recipes this week, just this one, followed by a rubarb, but that will be the extent of my pink for now. We still have a crazy amount of zucchini in this house, but I’m holding off on posting the recipes for a while, I don’t want to become a broken record.
This is another fabulous recipe from the Recipes for Health section of the New York Times, beets can get really hard to get creative with. I know a number of my friends with CSA’s have complained about standing in their kitchen, beets in hand, wondering what the hell to do with them. There are only so many salads that people can handle in a week. As a summer dish, this gratin is a bit problematic. I roasted the beets at night, when the house was a little cooler, with the AC blasting through the vents and baked the gratin the next day. This isn’t weather for turning on the oven.
Beet and Beet Green Gratin
Adapted from The New York Times
- 2 bunches (6 to 8 ) beets (preferably one red and one golden or chioggia), with the greens (about 2 pounds beets and 3/4 pound greens)
- Salt to taste
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped chives, 1 bunch (I used a spring onion)
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Roast the beets. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then cut the ends off, slip off the skins and slice across the equator.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens in two changes of water. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt generously and blanch the greens for about one minute. (You can also steam the greens until they wilt, one to two minutes). Transfer the greens to the ice water, then drain and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the greens. Stir together for a minute, season the greens with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Beat together eggs, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, chives and the Gruyère. Gently stir in the greens and beets. Scrape into the gratin dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until set and lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: I usually roast the beets and blanch the greens as soon as I get them home from the market. They will keep in covered bowls in the refrigerator for three or four days. The gratin is then quickly assembled. The baked gratin can be made a day ahead and reheated. Leftovers keep for four or five days and can be cut into small squares or diamonds for terrific hors d’oeuvres or snacks.
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