Saturday, October 20, 2012

Orecchiette with Beet Greens

Sunday 14 October
Yesterday we bought some fresh red beets, with their greens of course, from the nice people from Fair Ridge Farms at Findlay Market.  They asked if we intended to use the greens, and when we said "of course," they reached into a bin, pulled out another big bunch of greens sans beets, and said "take these as well."  Apparently some bozos asked them to cut the greens off, not realizing that beet greens are as tasty as beets, in their own way.
To use them all, we cooked up this recipe we'd done once from the Chez Panisse cookbook; but this time for pasta as originally intended, not as a side dish.
We did tinker with the recipe a bit: toasted a couple of Tablespoons of pignoli in the dry pan first, set them aside, and added them to the beet greens as a final touch of crunch.  Also, the boiling pasta water served both to soften the raisins and dress the beet greens.
Orecchiete turned out to be a great pasta for this, despite the fact that they look embarrassingly like cervical caps.  Though they have a tendency to nest on one another, they still cook pretty thoroughly in twelve minutes; and when tossed with the beet greens, they turned nice and pink.
The result was nutty and sweet with beet, sort of Sicilian in savor.  Definitely a beet-green keeper.

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