Beet Greens and Raisins

Beet Greens and Raisins
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beet greens and raisins
Nice for a light lunch.

So, how do you use the beet greens that come along with the beets? Sauté them? Steam them? Or just simmer them? Well, here’s an option for you: make beet greens and raisins. No more difficult than any of the aforementioned methods, this recipe gives you the option of doing something different from the same ol’ same ol’ side dishes.

We thought up this recipe based on one of our favorite ways to cook beets: Beets and Walnuts in an Orange-Balsamic Sauce. By changing to the beet greens, it’s even easier and faster and just as tasty. Plus, it gets us out of the rut of always steaming or sautéing greens.

Beet Greens and Raisins

Yield: 3-4 servings

Beet Greens and Raisins


  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bunch beet greens, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Abbreviated Instructions

Place sugar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and caraway seeds in a large skillet over low heat. Stir together.

Add beet greens, sprinkle with salt, cover, and simmer, stirring once or twice, until greens are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve, topping with chopped walnuts.

Ingredient discussion:

No, you don’t need to use your best olive oil for this. In fact, it’ll be just as good if you use canola oil, or any other light oil. Choosing balsamic vinegar can be problematic. The really good balsamic vinegar is really expensive, and the inexpensive balsamic vinegar doesn’t taste that good. We try for the middle of the road by buying an okay vinegar that’s moderately priced, so we can enjoy the taste in a lot of dishes without breaking the bank.

Procedure in detail:

making a sauce
The sauce doesn’t need to be completely mixed before adding the greens; all the simmering will take care of the mixing.

Make sauce. In a large skillet over low heat, stir together the sugar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and caraway seeds, until most of the sugar dissolves. It doesn’t have to dissolve completely, nor does the sauce need to boil; just get it to mix a bit.

adding beet greens
If you have a lot of greens, it might be a tight fit until they cook down.

Add greens and salt. Depending on the amount of greens you have, you might need to pack them into the skillet. That’s fine, as they’ll cook down. Once the greens are in, sprinkle just a bit of salt over the top.

Cook. Cover the greens and cook, stirring once or twice, until the greens are tender, about 20 minutes.

adding raisins
Without the raisins, it seems odd to have the sweet taste in the sauce, but with raisins, it all seems to fit.

Add raisins. Stir in the raisins and continue cooking, covered or uncovered, it doesn’t matter, until the raisins are heated through, about 5 minutes.

serving beet greens and raisins
The walnuts add a bit of texture and flavor. Plus, walnuts are good for you.

Serve. Dish the greens into bowls — there may be a bit of liquid in the pan — and top with chopped walnuts.

We had Beet Greens with Raisins for a light lunch and were pleasantly surprised by how good they were. The greens were tender, with a sweet, tangy sauce. Now, the ones we made were a bit on the sweet side, so we cut back on the amount of sugar in the recipe above, but we still liked them a lot. Plus, we thought the broth was good enough to use as a dipping sauce for our bread. Overall, we think these were better than plain sautéed greens — we say four stars on the “worth it scale.”

Worth the trouble?

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