Late spring and early summer are the season of young vegetables. The counters at this time are full of juicy colors, among which it is difficult not to notice young beets, especially if it is sold together with juicy tops. Unfortunately, many housewives immediately cut and throw out the leaves, not understanding at all how useful they are and how many delicious dishes can be prepared from them.
The first question that the housewives often ask is: “Why bother with beet tops?” Scientists gave the answer to this question a long time ago, proving that the leaves of this plant contain no less useful substances than root crops. Beet tops are rich in ascorbic and folic acids, vitamins of groups B and P, such microelements as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine. Vitamin C in the leaves is many times more than in the root crop.
Dishes from this vegetable are useful for people with heart and thyroid problems, patients with diabetes mellitus and anemia. Scientists noted the huge content of substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells, so oncologists recommend that patients always include beet tops in their diet. What to cook from this vegetable depends on the culinary preferences of the person. But the abundance of recipes allows absolutely everyone to find something to their liking.
Role in world culinary
In many countries of the world, dishes are prepared from succulent beet leaves. In Russia, borsch is cooked from it, in America they cook stew, Georgians love phali, and Armenians wrap stuffed meat and cereals in beetroot leaves, like in cabbage rolls. Beet tops, the recipes of which have been passed down from generation to generation, are famous in almost all parts of the world. Do you want to try to cook a national Russian dish or overseas delicacy in your own kitchen? Go for it! A few simple recipes will help with this.
Let's start with borsch. For its preparation you will need a pound of young beets with leaves, 4 potatoes, 2 small young zucchini, 3 ripe tomatoes, carrots and onions. In addition, we will prepare frying oil for frying and a little vinegar. And to give the dish a flavor, we’ll use seasonings. Which - you decide. Any favorite spices will do. Well, you can’t do without sour cream, it is used when serving.
This dish is lean, it is suitable for vegetarians and those who follow a diet. But it is perfectly acceptable to cook it with meat, and chopped lard to add to the roasting.
Let's start cooking by chopping the ingredients. Beetroot, cut into small slices, is the first to go to our future borscht. Potato cubes follow. While vegetables are boiled, fry onions, carrots, tomatoes and zucchini in oil, add a little vinegar and simmer. As soon as the vegetables are soft, we overload the frying in the pan and send the tops topped there. Cook for another 15 minutes, add spices and salt. And when the borsch is cooked, he needs to insist - for this it is best to wrap the pan with a towel and leave it on the stove off for at least 30 minutes.
Love sharper? Feel free to add pepper and crushed garlic to the borscht!
What can be cooked from beet tops
Young leaves are quite juicy, with a mild pleasant taste. In early spring, they will enrich many dishes with vitamins. Especially often you can find recipes with tops in vegetarian diets. It can be used both for first courses, and for side dishes, and even in baking. For example, try cooking at home from tops:
Doctors recommend the use of beet tops, because it contains substances that inhibit the development of cancer cells. No less useful are leaves for those who have heart or thyroid problems, as well as for diabetics.
The birthplace of this recipe is Karachay-Cherkessia. To make a pie, we need such products:
- flour - 200 g
- homemade soft cheese (feta cheese, suluguni) - 170 g,
- onion feathers
- beet tops - a bunch,
Wash raw leaves and cut into smaller ones, add cheese and onions to them, mix thoroughly. Knead dough from flour, salt and water. Roll out a few circles to fit the pan. Now we form pies: put a layer of dough on a greased pan, distribute the filling on top. We will bake in the oven. Pie with beet tops served to the table, cut into pieces.
A very popular product for cooking vegetable stew is beet tops. The recipes for this dish are complemented by ingredients such as potatoes, peppers, legumes, spinach, carrots, cauliflower and more. Let's try to cook stew in one of the most common ways. To do this, take a large bunch of tops, onions, several ripe bell peppers (preferably multi-colored), oil, herbs and seasonings. Now fry the chopped vegetables separately, transfer to a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Before serving, season with garlic and seasonings.
Spring salad with tops, vegetables and eggs
Juicy young beet leaves go well with any first spring vegetables. The only thing that before putting them in the salad, the tops should be scalded with boiling water. You can chop spinach, radishes, cucumbers, onion feathers and other herbs in the salad. It is seasoned with sunflower oil or low-fat mayonnaise. And if you add a couple of boiled eggs, raisins and fried nuts, you will get a more satisfying salad with an interesting taste.
Such a dish can please not only those who observe strict fasting or do not eat meat for any other belief. Beetroot cutlets can be great. a side dish! They go well with smoked bacon and bacon, fried sausages, salted lard, ham. You can also serve them as an independent dish, for example, with sauce or adjika. This dish turns out to be very juicy and aromatic, you won’t immediately say that it is based on beet tops. What to cook for cutlets and how to serve them is up to you. So let's get started.
Beet leaves (large bunch) are washed and cut into smaller ones. We drive in a raw egg, sprinkle with flour. The amount of flour and eggs depends on the juiciness of greens, and on its quantity. The result should be a dense mass that allows the formation of cutlets. They need to be fried in heated oil.
This vegetable is often used for cooking first courses. Let’s try, for example, to cook soup with beet tops. To do this, cook a light chicken broth, add finely chopped potatoes, grated carrots and fried onions in it. When the vegetables are cooked, put the tops, cut into thin long strips, into the broth. Boiled eggs are also very suitable for this recipe; quail eggs look especially impressive on plates. To this soup you can serve croutons or crackers.
Beetroot recipes do not always require heat treatment. Salads from fresh leaves that store maximum vitamins and minerals are also very popular. The only effect of heat is a second immersion in boiling water, which is necessary for the tops to become soft. Beetroot leaves in salads are great for cucumbers, radishes and radishes, cabbage, watercress, spinach, lettuce, and herbs. You can add boiled eggs, fried nuts, olives, flaxseed or sesame seeds. A completely unusual taste gives scalded raisins to such salads.
For refueling, vegetable oil seasoned with fruit vinegar, lemon or pomegranate juice is often used. Sour cream or mayonnaise are also great.
In the East, the word "dolma" refers to any dish consisting of a vegetable base stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat. And the usual bell peppers with minced meat, cabbage rolls in grape leaves, and even eggplant boats are considered variants of dolma recipes. Of course, among the variety there was a place for the version with beet tops.
For the preparation of phali, young beet leaves with cut legs are used. A strict recipe for the preparation of the filling (as, incidentally, the dishes as a whole) does not exist. To make minced meat, beef, lamb, pork or poultry meat, as well as their mixture, are used. Finely chopped or grated onions are definitely added. In the East, it is customary to put very little rice in the filling, not more than a quarter in volume.
The dolma wrapped in leaves is first fried in a pan, baked in the oven until half-cooked, or immediately placed in a large cauldron. To prepare the gravy, a mixture of fried vegetables (carrots, onions, garlic) seasoned with tomato can be used.
Dolma is served on a large dish, along with gravy.
What is the name of
Often people are interested in other names for beet leaves. Among them there are obvious synonyms - “beet tops”, “beet leaves”, and unusual - our ancestors called beetroot “beetroot”, Europeans - “Roman cabbage”, Swiss - “grass stem”.
By the way, people often make a mistake and confuse the tops of red table or sugar beets with chard, which is a separate type of beet with different varieties. The chard is softer than ordinary beet tops, and the consistency and taste of these two types of greens will be different.
We also want to note that in city conditions, of course, it is easier to grow chard — foliage appears faster, you can harvest almost all year round, the foliage will grow new, even if cut to the root.
But we still talk about the native tops, which will soon appear, probably, in every gardener in our country!
Can i eat
Can the tops be eaten? Well of course yes. You will be surprised, but in general, it was the root crop that was originally used for medical purposes, but just the beet tops — leaves with petioles — were used in food. Smooth or wavy, trihedral or heart-shaped, beet leaves are collected by a beautiful rosette.
Petioles of beetroot leaves are long, fleshy and incredibly juicy. The variety of tops is striking - from green with thin raspberry veins to dark red, sometimes even purple.
Of course, the young leaves will be the most delicious and tender. In addition, it is important to choose fresh, elastic leaves of a dark green color (the main signs of freshness). The presence of yellow areas indicates the dryness and lack of freshness of the product.
In 100 gr. greens contains only 22 kcal., 2.2 g. protein, 0.1 g. fat and 0.6 gr. carbohydrates. 1 large leaf weighs about 32 grams.
So we got to the main thing: listing the beneficial substances contained in beet leaves:
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid (30 mg.) - strengthens brittle capillaries, boosts immunity, is indispensable in the fight against depression, supports our nervous system and helps fight fatigue.
Vitamin A (316 mcg.) It is considered one of the most important in the body. He is responsible for visual acuity, restoration and nutrition of skin cells, the normal functioning of the digestive tract. It is an antioxidant that protects against the harmful effects of cells in the body, prevents cancer and the development of coronary heart disease.
Folic acid. It is necessary to ensure normal brain activity and the nervous system. Folic acid is especially necessary for pregnant women - during the period of gestation, the child helps intrauterine development of the fetus.
Vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B6), which are involved in the normalization of metabolism, regulation of the immune system, and also play an important role for the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
A nicotinic acid improves metabolism, participates in redox processes, prevents the formation of cholesterol in the blood.
Choline has a beneficial effect on the state of liver cells and prevents its fatty degeneration.
Pectin or soluble fiber, which normalizes digestion and significantly increases the overall tone in the body.
Vitamin K plays an important role in the process of blood coagulation and promotes the formation of strong bones.
In addition, beet tops contain a lot of trace elementswhich are necessary for the normal functioning of the body: iron, magnesium, chlorine, calcium, aluminum, copper, manganese, cobalt, etc.
Benefits for the human body
Based on the composition of beet leaves, we can talk about the beneficial properties of these:
Normalizes digestion. Thanks to fiber (dietary fiber), beet tops are used to stimulate bowel cleansing, prevent the accumulation of pathogenic microflora, which often leads to serious interruptions in the digestive system.
Prevention and treatment of constipation. Remember that the tops have a mild laxative effect, which will greatly help people prone to constipation.
Help in the construction and restoration of damaged body cells. So to speak, indirect rejuvenation. Nicotinic and folic acid, as well as vitamins contained in the tops, contribute to the formation of new cells, and also stimulate the processes of tissue development and growth.
Cardiac improvement. A high concentration of vitamins (vitamin B9 and vitamin C) favorably affects the walls of blood vessels - they become stronger and more elastic.
We have written more than once that dark leafy vegetables are extremely beneficial for health due to their fiber, folic acid and antioxidants. But speaking of these, we usually mean expensive arugula, spinach, broccoli, kale, forgetting about the extremely affordable beet tops and parsley!
Remember, healthy dishes and products are not equally expensive and unusual. Beetroot leaves, arrows of garlic, dill, turnip leaves, flaxseed - all this costs a penny, is extremely affordable and grows on every second (if not the first garden) and at the same time contains the same vitamins and nutrients that foreign ones gather, which is beneficial sell at exorbitant prices.
If you suffer diarrhea or are prone to it, have hemorrhoids, it is neat to apply to the tops - still it has laxative functions.
You should also consult your doctor if you have strong inflammatory processes in the kidneys and bladder - Tops may stimulate greater urination.
Due to the stirring acid contained in the leaves of beets, sick gout (article in the topic about salt deposition) You also need to carefully monitor the use of it in food.
People taking anticoagulants (blood thinners), it is not recommended to consume beet tops in large quantities, since it contains a lot of vitamin K. In simple words, do not eat tops if you have thick blood and you are trying to make it more liquid with medication.
Always remember individual intoleranceTherefore, it is better to pre-check whether this product will cause an allergic reaction.
It is also important to consult on nutrition for people with diseased kidneys or having stones in the gall bladder.
How to choose
After the beets with the tops are dug up, usually the leaves are cut from the fruit so that after harvesting they do not continue to pull the juices from the beets. It is beets along with tops worth buying in the market, in which case you will get fresh and juicy leaves to your table.
When buying, you must also pay attention to the color and freshness of beet leaves. If they look bright, fresh and keep in shape, you can get the tops.
If you bought beet tops with root vegetables, cut leaves with petioles somewhere 1-2 cm above the tuber. Remove any wilted and discolored ones; remove any remaining sand, earth with a brush or a damp cloth.
Fill the tops in a bag or container with a lid, place in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator. Beet leaves are stored for no more than 3-4 days.
Cooking recipes: what can be cooked
So, what is prepared from beet leaves? We will tell you the most interesting and delicious recipes from beet leaves, which will be useful for both health and wallet!
So, beetroot soups are commonplace. They are light, summer and go well in the heat. We are one of the first to recommend a soup with chicken and beetroot leaves.
Just boil the poultry broth according to your favorite recipe, as soon as the meat is ready, add chopped and pre-peeled potatoes, carrots, onions, and shortly before the end, chopped tops, salt and seasonings are introduced, after which they boil for another 10 minutes, turn off the heat and leave “ reach "for 15-20 minutes.
You can also replace potatoes with buckwheat, rice or barley and get a completely new, but still the same healthy soup.
After this, steamed greens are best removed with a spoon and serve soup to the table. The dish goes well with thinly sliced and pan-dried bread.
One of the most popular beetroot soup options. In general, just such a soup is prepared from a new crop of vegetables and tops, which are stewed in vegetable oil, on water without meat. It turns out a light summer lean soup, which is appropriate to eat in cold form.
But if you really want to, then you can cook it on meat broth - it will still be delicious. Возьмите свинину или говядину на кости, вapить oкoлo 2 чacoв. Лучше всего пepвую вoду cлить чepeз 10 минут пocлe нaчaлa вapки, зaтeм дoбaвить cвeжую и вapить мяco ужe дo гoтoвнocти.
После этого кладем все остальные ингредиенты по рецепту, мяco же лучше вынуть, остудить до комнатной температуры и нapeзaть нa пopциoнныe куcки. Иx мoжнo положить oбpaтнo в кacтpюлю или же положить уже при подаче в тapeлку.
- вoдa – 2.5 л.,
- кaпуcтa – З00 гp.,
- кapтoфeль – 250 гp.,
- свeклa, морковка, лук репчатый – все по 1 шт.,
- пoмидopы – 2-З шт.,
- бoтвa свекольная,
- растительное масло рафинированное — 2 ст.л.,
- уксус 9% — 1 ст.л.,
- salt and other spices to taste + 1 bay leaf.
Step by step cooking:
Pour water into the pan and bring to a boil. Finely chop the cabbage, peel and dice the potatoes and send the whole thing into already boiling water.
We also clean the carrots and three on a grater, finely chop the onions and tomatoes and fry on a gentle fire over a pan with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to softness, salt. Set aside for now, in a bowl under a closed bowl, so that the vegetables get warm.
Wash and clean the beets, three on a grater and add to the pan (you can not wash it) from 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. I have a nice little bite, we separate the leaves from the cuttings and it is the cuttings that are cut by 0.5 cm., Put them in a frying pan.
Pour the resulting mixture into the mixture, mix thoroughly, cover with a lid and simmer on a slow fire until soft. We cut the leaves very finely. When the potato is ready to be cooked, leave the cooked beetroots and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the left cooker and minced beef.
In the meantime, a beetroot with cuttings should already be cooked, so we send them to the pan, we interfere. In order for the borsch to be beautiful, it is important to prevent the beets from boiling in the borsch, so it is best to add it to the soup when it is removed from the fire.
mix the soup, add the mixture of carrots, tomatoes and onions and cover the pan with a lid. We leave it for a while, so that the soup stays on for at least Z0 minutes, from which it becomes only tastier.
This recipe from beet tops is a classic cooking. Although rather it is not stuffed cabbage already, but dolma. In the East, the word "dolma" refers to any dish consisting of a vegetable base stuffed with a mixture of rice and meat.
So the usual bell pepper with minced meat, cabbage rolls in grape leaves, and even eggplant boats are considered variants of dolma recipes.
For the preparation of phali, young beet leaves with cut legs are used. A strict recipe for the preparation of the filling (as, incidentally, the dishes as a whole) does not exist. To make minced meat, beef, lamb, pork or poultry meat, as well as their mixture, are used.
Finely chopped or grated onions with garlic are definitely added - so the dish will be more juicy. In the East, it is customary to put very little rice in the filling, not more than a quarter in volume.
The dolma wrapped in leaves is pre-fried in a pan, baked in the oven until half-cooked, or immediately placed in a large cauldron and cooked for about an hour. To prepare the gravy, a mixture of fried vegetables (carrots, onions, garlic) seasoned with tomato can be used.
Dolma is served on a large dish along with gravy.
Summer recipe for delicious Ossetian pies with beet tops! Their other name is Tsakharajin. Try this simple recipe:
- yeast dough - 350 gr.,
- soft salted rennet Ossetian cheese soft (if you could not buy, then you can take feta, feta cheese, Adyghe) - 250 gr.,
- butter - 40 gr.,
- beetroot leaves - 150 gr.,
- chopped greens (chives, cilantro, dill) - 1 handful,
- salt - 1 pinch.
We wash the leaves of beets and let them drain water, dry them on a towel, and then finely chop (without stems).
Knead the cheese with a fork to a pasty state, without lumps. We mix chopped leaves into the resulting paste, with effort, making it possible to "make friends" with the ingredients.
Finely chopped cilantro, onion and dill - this is the combination most appropriate. These herbs will enrich the taste of beetroot leaves and give an excellent color to pastries. Add salt.
If you understand that the mixture turned out to be rather dry, then add 1-2 tablespoons of fat sour cream. If on the contrary, it turned out to be too wet for you, then sprinkle half a spoonful of flour.
Take pre-thawed yeast dough. You do not need a rolling pin, all by hand! Using your fingers, gently spread the dough evenly into a thickness of 1.5 - 2 cm and a diameter of 25-30 centimeters. Place the stuffing rolled into a ball in the center of the dough.
Gently and without tearing, pack the filling inside the dough, you should get a bag. Flatten the edges of the dough and turn it upside down for rolling with your fingers. We use only surfaces dusted with flour.
After rolling out the dough with your fingers the diameter of an ordinary pizza, with a thickness of only 0.8-1.0 cm, with a light and quick movement we turn the cake over to our palms and transfer it to a mold or a baking sheet, previously dusted with flour a little. In the center, where the junction of the “pouch” used to be, we make a hole so that the cake “breathes” in the oven.
We bake for 15-20 minutes, at a temperature of 230 ° C until a yellowish-golden crust. After pulling out of the oven, in the hot form we smear a piece of butter, which in five minutes will make the crust of the pie much softer.
Beetroot leaves are best stewed in Armenian. To do this, they are washed with cool water, finely chopped and placed in a saucepan with the addition of a small amount of water and vegetable oil. In greens add carrots, peppers, tomatoes, onions and any other vegetables.
With this method of processing, greens lose their color, but to avoid this you just need to add a little dissolved citric acid or lemon juice.
You can also cook beetroot puree. To do this, the leaves are mixed with other types of herbs and any vegetables, chopped in a blender, and then rubbed through a sieve. The resulting mixture can be seasoned with lemon juice and used instead of meat or fish sauce.
It will be useful to serve a salad of beet tops to the side dish. It is prepared quickly and simply - beetroot leaves, parsley are mixed in a deep plate, walnuts, garlic and red onions heated in a pan for a couple of minutes, seasoned with oil in combination with mild adjika and salted.
Suitable for meat, poultry, and fish.
- chicken egg - 3 pcs.,
- any flour to taste - 1/2 tbsp.,
- tops - a bunch,
- onions - 2 pcs.,
- garlic - 2-3 tooth.
Recipe: extremely simple. We cut the tops into thin strips (without legs), chop the onion, crush the garlic in a garlic press. I mix all this disgrace with eggs and flour, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and fry in sunflower oil, like pancakes, squeezing with a spoon.
You can serve such pancakes as a side dish for meat or soup, use instead of bread in sandwiches with beef / sausage / cheese, or you can spread sour cream and eat just like that.
Topped patties will turn out to be slightly “clumsy", but very tasty and original - try to surprise home or guests with this culinary delight.
- Adyghe cheese - 100 gr.,
- beet tops (bunch),
- sour cream - 3 tbsp.,
- any flour - 2-3 tablespoons,
- spices and salt to taste.
Grind the tops, grate Adyghe cheese on a coarse grater.
Combine the tops, cheese, sour cream and spices to taste, mix thoroughly and add flour. Select the amount of flour by eye, so that the "forcemeat" does not turn out too liquid or thick.
Form the cutlet from the resulting mixture. So that they do not fall apart, you can simply put it in a frying pan with a tablespoon. Fry the patties on both sides with vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Phali in Georgian
Phali from beetroot or another type of beetroot cutlets. This option is already more complicated and more “dirty”, you cannot whip it in a hurry, but it is perfect for diet or even festive food.
Pkhali itself is a Georgian cuisine dish that is prepared from any vegetable base and mixed with dressing. You can take any vegetables as a basis: beets, any greens, cabbage, beans, legumes and so on.
The very taste and piquancy of the phali is given by the dressing, which is made from walnuts, cilantro, garlic, onions, suneli hops and other seasonings.
- boiled beets - 3 pcs.,
- a bunch of greens (tops from beets, cilantro, dill) - 1 pc.,
- garlic - 5 cloves,
- peeled walnuts - 1 cup,
- onions - 1 pc.,
- seasoning hops-suneli - 1 tsp
We clean the boiled beets and three on a fine grater. If it is straight juicy and gives a lot of juice, then it needs to be squeezed to the maximum, otherwise it will be difficult to form a phali.
Finely chop, or even better mix in a blender until puree a bunch of greens, five cloves of garlic, a glass of walnuts and a small onion.
We mix the grated beets, the resulting mixture, add salt, pepper and a teaspoon of hops-suneli to taste. We send for a couple of hours to the refrigerator.
Then, with our hands dipped in cold water, we form balls from the “dough” and put them on a plate - they are ready to go.
We hope you enjoyed the article. Share your recipes and finds for useful, but inexpensive food in the comments!
Vegetarian borsch with beet tops and zucchini
An easy dietary version of the usual hearty red borscht is no less tasty, but low-calorie. It is prepared as follows:
- Pour 2-2.5 liters of water into the pan, let it boil.
- Wash young beets in an amount of 0.5 kg, cut the tops and separately petioles. Peel root crops, crumble straws and pour into boiling water.
- Peel 4 potatoes, cut into cubes. When the beets lose color, add potatoes to it and cook until tender.
- Grate 1 carrot, chop the onion and send them to stew in a pan in sunflower oil.
- Separately cut into cubes 2 young zucchini and 3 tomatoes. Stew also in a pan until soft.
- Cut the petioles into pieces, stew with the addition of 1 tbsp. l vinegar.
- When the potatoes and beets are ready, add the frying to the borsch, stewed zucchini with tomatoes and petioles. Pour the chopped beet tops into the borscht and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
If desired, borsch can be cooked on the broth.
Spring vitamin cutlets from tops
Such a side dish is not only delicious, but also looks beautiful. Green and red cutlets, sprinkled with sour cream or sauce, can be served with bacon or sausages. Make them simple:
- Finely chop the tops
- drive an egg
- add flour to make a dense mass.
Hands to form cutlets and fry in sunflower oil.
Lean closed pie with tops and suluguni
Knead or buy ready-made puff pastry. Roll out two cakes, put one in a pan or in a pan. Lay the filling on top, after mixing its components:
- grated suluguni (150-200 g),
- finely chopped tops (bunch),
- garlic passed through a press (a pair of wedges, to taste).
Cover the cake with a second cake, pinch the edges, grease with an egg. Bake for 25 minutes.