These beetroot tops sautéed with garlic & fennel are so delicious if you can get your hands on farm-fresh beetroot with crisp leaves. Stir this through steamed rice or serve as a side dish.
I had never cooked the tops of beetroot before and when I received a bunch of freshly harvested beetroot from Terra Madre in Elgin just before the lockdown, I simply could not ignore them. I adore beetroot and have cooked a plethora of recipes with them over the years and figured the tops would be an extension of beetroot flavour-wise.
They are related to Swiss chard and spinach (the Chenopodiaceae family) so they are all good. I just freestyled it in my kitchen adding what I thought would work and the result was a bowl of utter deliciousness. I stirred this through steamed brown basmati rice and a few mushrooms sautéed in butter adding parmesan cheese at the end to finish it off.
I wouldn’t attempt to make this dish unless the beetroot tops were extremely fresh. It’s also not going to win any beauty competitions but it is what it is. I am so happy to share it as I really hate food waste.
You might also like the beetroot recipe
Delicious beetroot tops sautéed with garlic & fennel
- 1 bunch of very fresh beetroot tops washed and the thick stalks cut away from the leaves
- Chop the stems quite finely and then cup up the leaves into thin ribbons
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- ½ – 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Soy sauce to season
- Juice of ¼ – ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese to serve
- Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and sauté the shallots until soft. About 4 minutes. Add the chopped beetroot leaf stems, fennel seeds and cumin and fry for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook this for about a minute.
- Add the shredded beetroot leaves and stir through to wilt.
- Add about a ¼ cup of water and cover the pan with a lid or a baking tray in order to stem the leaves. Season with soy sauce and lemon juice keep tossing in the pan.
- Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper and when most of the liquid has cooked off, serve with grated Parmesan cheese.