I can’t count the number of times that I’ve discarded beet greens because they looked like they barely survived a hurricane but when fresh and perky, they’re earthily sweet and delicious.
I particularly love those golden beets that come in tight little bunches, just aching to be baked. The greens that came with them were in perfect condition for once, so I chopped them up and added them to pasta with fresh lemon and some lovely plump, wild-caught shrimp from the south Atlantic.
A quick, fresh-tasting pasta supper.
PASTA WITH SHRIMP, LEMON & BEET GREENS
(Enough for 4-6)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup (80ml) of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest
2 good bunches of fresh baby beet greens, washed and chopped
1lb of cleaned raw shrimp
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few chili pepper flakes, to taste
Start by lightly steaming the beet greens until just tender, then set them aside.
Cook the pasta according to instructions and while it’s cooking, heat the butter and olive oil in a wide sauté pan and cook the garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté for 2 more minutes, then add the lemon juice, zest and a few pepper flakes. Once the shrimp is opaque, season with sea salt and a grind of black pepper. Add the steamed beet greens.
Drain the pasta quickly and tip it into the pan with the shrimp. Toss everything together well, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil if you like and serve immediately in warmed bowls.