Almost Turkish Recipes

Beet Greens with Rice and Olive Oil (Pirinçli Pancar Yaprağı)

Beet greens, stems and leaves, although usually discarded, are in fact quite healthy, sweet, and delicious when cooked in simple ways. There are a couple of different ways of cooking beet greens in Turkish cuisine. The following recipe is a simple one rice and olive oil.

When you buy beets and use them to pickle or for salads and risottos, do not discard the greens. 

beet greens of 1 bunch beet, stems and leaves chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp white rice or bulgur wheat (you can use brown rice as well but you need to cook it ahead of time)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes    

-Heat olive oil in a pot.
-Add onion and garlic and cook on medium 3-4 minutes.
-Add beet greens and sauté another 3 minutes.
-Add water to barely cover the greens and sprinkle the rice on top.
-Salt and pepper to taste. Add hot pepper flakes if you wish.
-Cover and cook on low for approximately 20-25 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.

Beet greens are good warm or cold. Serve them with yogurt on the side, preferably with garlicy yogurt. (For garlicy yogurt, use 1 clove of minced garlic for each cup of yogurt. Mix well and serve.)     

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