Hearty beet greens are called bietoline in Italian and are enjoyed in many preparations This version is cooked with anchovies and garlic in a bit tomato until they become wonderfully savory. It is one of the more typical variations and would be served as a rustic all-purpose side dish.
- 1 bunch beet greens, thick stems removed
- 2 whole salt packed anchovies, tails & heads removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 roma tomato
- 2 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
Wash the greens extremely well by immersing them in cool water and agitate the water to remove any grit. Drain and repeat. Dry the greens well, then roll them, cigar style. Slice them crosswise into ¼″ chiffonades. Set aside.
Fillet the anchovies by brushing away any residual salt and press along the backbone with your thumb, turn it over and easily pull the backbone a ribs away. This step in unnecessary with canned fillets. Soak the fillets in cool water for 10 , then drain and set aside.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, anchovies, and pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring, until fragrant with garlic, about 30 seconds.
Using a box grater held over the skillet, grate the tomato allowing all the pulp, seeds and juice to fall into the skillet. Add water and greens. Stir to combine, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are extremely tender and flavors meld, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the warm greens to a serving platter and top them with the grated parmesan cheese and (optionally) the poppy seeds.