This quick, easy and healthy dish provides a great way to use up those big green beet leaves which are often thrown out. The leaves, like many green leafy vegetables are loaded with lots of vitamins and iron. For those who struggle with anemia (low iron in the blood) this can really help. It also helps to eat more leafy greens during a woman's premenstrual cycle because it adds iron in the body which helps compensate for the loss of iron which occurs.
To get started, all you need is 1 bunch of beet leaves, a few cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and some water.
- Simply take 1 bunch of beet leaves and wash very well. Do not use any discolored leaves which can appear yellow. You want the deep green leaves. You can keep the stems too.
- Chop the leaves and stems (the stems will be a little bitter so you do nott have to use them) and set aside.
- Crush a few cloves of garlic and saute the garlic in extra virgin olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold the leaves. Do not let the garlic burn, this will ruin the whole dish.
- Next add the beet leaves along with some water. The water will help create steam for cooking. If you add too much water, just let it cook off.
- Lower the heat to Low.
- Cover and stir frequently until leaves are wilted and soft. If you remove the leaves too soon, the leaves will be tough and hard to chew.
- Add additional water as needed to prevent leaves from sticking to pan.
- Serve warm.
This Italian dish can be served as a snack or as a nice side dish to a nice bowl of pasta, or even breaded chicken breasts with Italian seasonings. Enjoy!
Elizabeth Krause grew up in an Italian home, however it wasn't until later in her busy life when she began to appreciate the benefits of using simple ingredients to make simple Italian dishes. She now enjoys sharing her easy recipes at her online recipe box at http://www.simpleitaliancooking.com/recipebox.htm and welcomes others to engage in her online blog. Each week she posts a new recipe along with helpful tips in the hopes others will take advantage of her learning experiences.
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