"Breathe properly. Stay curious. And eat your beets."
(How one achieves immortality according to Alobar, the main character in Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins).
Long valued as blood tonic, it's easy to see how one would make the connection between beets and longevity given the vegetable's impressive nutrient content: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, carotene, B complex (lots of folate), and vitamin C. And the tops contain the same nutrients as the root but are also exceptionally rich in both vitamin K and carotenoids, specifically lutein which is important for eye health.
We've been buying several bunches of beets at the farmer's market whenever we see them and putting them to good use—grating into salads, roasting them for a pizza topping, and fermenting them into kvass. The other evening we roasted a few on the grill and they were pretty darn good.
So, with the beets all eaten and a fridge full of greens, now is the time to make beet green fritters.
Savory, crispy, and slightly chewy on the inside, these pan-fried fritters are a delicious way to get your daily dose of Vitamin K (or use up any greens that may be slightly past their prime.) They are great the first day and maybe even better when reheated in a toaster oven the next day! This recipe makes about 10-15 fritters.
Beet Green Fritters
1lb beet greens
1/3 cup stiff sourdough starter
1 large spring onion with tops, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
2 tbs. pesto or chimichurri or chopped herbs
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
lard, bacon grease, or olive oil (for pan-frying)
Notes: This recipe is flexible, use whatever you have on hand! Swiss chard, turnip greens, kale - any dark, leafy greens will do. Sub red onion or shallots for the spring onion. Add more herbs! Try using feta instead of parmesan! If you don't have any stiff sourdough starter you can sub coconut flour or regular, all-purpose flour - start with 1/4 cup and add more if necessary.
Blanch the greens in a large pot of salted, boiling water for a couple minutes. Drain in a colander and cool with cold water then squeeze out as much liquid as you can—otherwise the mixture can get too runny. Roughly chop greens and set aside.
Blend eggs and sourdough starter together until smooth. Pour the batter into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too runny, add a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to thicken it up.
Heat the lard in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the pan for each fritter, flattening them down with a spatula. Pan fry until golden and crispy—about 1-3 minutes per side.
We served ours with a fried egg, sour cream, a side of lacto-fermented cauliflower, and a glass of beet kvass.
We also baked two nice-looking loaves of sourdough bread today, but I'll save that recipe for another day.