Boiled Beets and Wilted Greens with Bratwurst and Mustard

Boiled Beets and Wilted Greens with Bratwurst and Mustard (Serves 1)

After failing repeatedly to get results that I would serve to a guest, I gave up on cooking fresh beets. I knew people who loved cooked beets, but my results tasted like health food. You might eat them because you knew they were good for you, but you wouldn’t like them. However, my weekly share of vegetables from Cherith Farms included beets in November. I might have prepared more “health food,” but my friend Mary Busman suggested I try simply boiling them. Boiling? Can anything be that simple? Yes! I now love boiled beets.

Prep and cook time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredient list:

1 fresh bratwurst
Spicy brown mustard
6-8 small or 2 large beets
1 big bunch of beet greens
Extra virgin olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder

Directions: Rinse beets. Cut beets from greens and add to a pan of mildly boiling water. You might salt the water a little or not. After 20 minutes, move the pan to the sink and run cold water on the beets until you can touch them. When cool enough, pinch the skins off the beets (the skin comes off easily after 20 minutes in boiling water). If any of the ends are tough, cut them off with a knife. Discard the skins, rinse the pan, and return the boiled beets to the pan. Add a bratwurst sausage to the pan. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the beets and the brat. Bring water to just below a simmer and let the brat cook for 20 minutes with the beets soaking up the brat juices. Don’t let water boil or the brat may pop. About five minutes before the brat is finished cooking, pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Wait for oil to get hot and then add greens. Season with a dusting of salt and garlic powder. Splash greens with apple cider vinegar. Use two forks to turn the greens to speed the wilting process. Greens wilt to no more than 10 percent of their fresh volume, so it takes a big mixing bowl full of fresh greens to create enough to fill a plate with wilted greens. When everything is done, transfer the wilted greens, the bratwurst, and the beets to a plate. Smear the brat with spicy brown mustard. Enjoy!

Notes: Dropping wet greens in a hot skillet makes hot oil jump and spit, so be careful. I found dropping enough to fill the skillet all at once helped because the greens themselves then functioned as a splatter screen.

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