A friend mentioned recently that when he went to buy beets at the farmers market this past weekend, the vendor started to tear the greens off the top of them for him. He told him he wanted the greens. Then he asked what happened to all of the greens that had already been torn off that day. Long story short, he walked away with a huge bag of beet greens – free.

The leaves of root vegetables are often edible, but they’re often overlooked. They either get thrown away, composted, or perhaps used for stock, but they’re can be ingredients in their own right.

Next time you get a bunch of beets, try one of these recipes with the greens on top.

  1. Beet Greens and Feta Pasta – Wilted beet greens, sauteed onions and garlic, along with a little pasta water make a simple sauce for Penne pasta that’s topped with Feta.
  2. Grilled Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs, Beets, and Wilted Greens – Sweet figs and tangy goat cheese pair with beets and their greens on this pizza that’s perfect now that we’re all firing up our grills.
  3. Lemon and Butter Braised Beet Greens – Simple and quick, this side dish comes together in less than 10 minutes.
  4. Spicy Beet Green Crostini – Beet greens are sauteed with red chile pepper flakes and garlic, then placed on top of toasted baguette slices.
  5. Salad of Edible Radish, Beet & Carrot Top Green – This no-waste recipe uses the tops from three different root vegetables and tops them with a vermouth vinaigrette. Add any other salad topping you like.
Do you make use of your beet greens or the greens from other root vegetables? What’s your favorite way to prepare them.

More recipes on MNN: 12 paleo recipes you need to try

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