I love the color of fresh beet leaves! They are a vibrant green that contrasts beautifully with the reddish stalks. Do you know they also taste delicious sautéed? This Sautéed Sesame Beet Leaves dish combines beet leaves with garlic and sesame oil for a fragrant and tasty side dish that complements any main course entrée. Using the leaves and stalks from about 3 beets, this dish only uses 6 ingredients and cooks up in 15 minutes. Try it for yourself and see!
Not only are beets good for you (read here for more on the nutritional value of beets), but so are the beet leaves. In fact, just one serving of this dish will already provide you with 2 grams of protein, 2 milligrams of iron, 103 milligrams of calcium and 5409 International Units of vitamin A!
A simple yet tasty way to prepare this vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free vegetable side dish, using beet leaves to yield a fragrant, slightly sweet and salty dish.
- 9 cups chopped beet leaves and stems [354 g] (from 3 beets - separate out the stems from the leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or use 1 teaspoon of soy sauce or tamari sauce)
- 2-3 tablespoons water (can use vegetable broth instead)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds on top as garnish (optional)
Fry the chopped garlic in some olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
Add in the chopped stems and stir-fry them for 2-3 minutes. Then add in 1-2 tablespoons of water, stir and cover the pot to help the stems soften as they cook. Turn the heat burner down to low-medium heat and let the stems cook for about 5-6 minutes.
Taste test the stems occasionally to check if they are cooked through. Then turn the heat burner back up to a medium heat setting, and add in the tablespoon of sesame oil.
Mix the stems with the garlic and sesame oil together, then add the chopped beet leaves on top. Stir to mix in the beet leaves with the sesame oil, then cover the pot and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Top with sesame seeds and serve!
This dish is gluten free if you use salt or tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
Wait unto right before you cook to chop up the beet leaves. This is because the beet leaves seem to act like spinach and spoil quickly when damaged or cut.
During cooking, the stems tend to soak up a lot of water so keep checking and adding more water to cook the stems down as needed. The stems also take much longer to cook compared to the leaves, so it is beneficial to chop the stems more finely to reduce the cooking time.