Hey, guess what? I’m in England right now! Yep, that’s right. I’m traversing the pond to take a whirlwind tour of gardens of the U.K. Among them is a personal Mecca of mine – Perch Hill Farm. Can’t wait to get back and tell you all about it! In the meantime, here’s a new recipe to keep you occupied.
This dish is a bit more geared towards those of you that grow your own garden as the beets/greens need to be very young, so much so that I doubt anyone out there is selling them this small. Actually, it’s a fun trick I’ve developed in my garden this year. When the time comes to thin out any extra seedlings from the crops I direct seeded – carrots, peas (for shoots), lettuces – into my vegetable beds, I save the tender young plants I thin and eat them whole. So, these itty bitty beets – really just long red roots with tiny greens attached – were what I culled from the rows of what are now becoming beautiful big ruby orbs, which are due shortly to make their appearance in several recipes here on SFTF.
For those of you who are vegetarian out there, I used the Morning Star chicken strips and found them perfect for this recipe. The dressing is just a basic formula you can adapt a hundred different ways; add a dash of red pepper flakes, a pinch of fresh thyme, orange muscat champagne vinegar instead of balsamic, apple juice in place of honey, walnut oil instead of olive….the adaptations and flavors are endless. The idea behind the recipe is to keep it simple and fast so dinner is healthy and delicious without being time consuming. And to not waste some of the most tender, albeit small, harvests from the garden.
Young Beet Greens and Chicken Salad
A Straight from the Farm Original
¼ C. balsamic vinegar
¾ C. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. ground mustard
1 t. ground ginger
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. honey
salt and pepper to taste
2 C. chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 C. fresh baby beet greens, roots and all, washed and dried
Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, oil, mustard, ginger, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the chicken over medium heat until brown and cooked through, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the beet greens and toss to combine with the chicken. Drizzle with half a cup of dressing and toss again. Cook just until greens begin to wilt. Remove from heat and taste. Add additional dressing and salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately while warm.