This spread utilizes the entire beet plant and, when prepared, makes a very colorful, soft and buttery appetizer or main course. It is low in calories and cholesterol as well as being vegetarian. High in folate and other nutrient compounds, beets help protect against heart disease, birth defects, and certain cancers, especially colon.
1 bunch beets with greens attached (bunches with 2-3 medium to large beets).
1 loaf of rustic, crunchy bread cut on the diagonal
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves freshly chopped garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces feta cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°.
Trim greens from beets at root stem. Save greens aside. Place gently washed whole beets directly on oven rack and roast for 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on the size of the beets. Let cool when through. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Place bread slices on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning slices once halfway through until lightly toasted, about 12 minutes.
Slice the beet greens from the stems. Chop the greens and thinly slice the stems, keeping the stems and greens separate.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and cook stirring occasionally until tender.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the greens, vinegar and water and cook stirring occasionally until tender and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt and remove from heat.
Carefully peel cooled beets, (they can stay very hot), and dice. Place ¾ cup beets, feta cheese, and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Reserve the remaining beets for another meal.
To assemble bread, spread 2 teaspoons beet-cheese spread on each toasted bread slice and top with sautéed greens.
This information has been approved by Clinical Nutrition Services (September 2009). For specific diet information tailored to your needs, we recommend you consult with one of our registered dietitians.