Dill Pesto for fish

I love pesto (fresh!), who doesn’t? I’m not supposed to eat much garlic, so there’s only 3 cloves in this. Also, you’ll notice my BASIL is purple! It was my MOTHER’S DAY gift to my DAD (the “black”/ violet basil plant).

It’s doing nicely.

Anyhoo, so there’s the usual basil, garlic, EVOO, salt, pepper and this time:

a sprig of dill! Surprising, isn’t it? I virtually never use pine nuts, simply because I don’t keep them on hand.

You can use pesto on anything. Usually, it’s thought of as for use on pasta but I’ll use it on anything. I’d never made it with dill but this tilapia (bought a massive amount) needs a sauce. I love all kinds of fish and seafood but THIS tilapia is a little not-so-bueno. Dressing it up, surely helps. Here, I’ve plated them but also “opened” their beet leaf envelopes to show there’s fish inside 🙂

 

I put the ingredients together (you can see the herbs but there was much more basil) in a mini-food processor with the salt, pepper, garlic and EVOO — OH and grated parmesan cheese.

I smeared the raw fish with the fresh pesto and wrapped securely in beet leaves. Then, I places them in a skillet on simmer (low) with a tablespoon of coconut oil in the bottom and lidded it. The point is to steam the fish inside the leaves, leaving the pesto to saturate it all.

 

I lifted off the lid to add more beet leaves on top, just cos I could 🙂

It turned out better than I expected. It’s sublime. That wee sprig of dill goes a long way, so be careful if you use it! That was with 8oz of fish and about 6C of beet leaves (all combined).

 

 

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Tilapia en Feuilles de Betteraves

I’ve talked about beet greens all summer. Baby beet greens are a delight raw, oddly cooking them brings out a bitter bite that you need to contend with as you cook, to your taste.

Grown-up beet greens put up a better fight. They’re fairly biting raw and become tensile enough to battle against jute.

The babies are long gone. Because I’m cheap (would rather spend sheqles on a new mbp rather than groceries), I still eat them but I’m growing bored.

Last night, I got in a bit before 20h and decided to cook some tilapia in them like grape leaves! I reckoned if they were edible, cool! If not, they at least helped steam/ hold in juices of the fish. A win/ possible-win!

It worked, mostly. The fish is GREAT. The beet greens were about 1/3 edible, mostly thanks to what I treated the fish with before I steamed them 🙂 Also, upon a brief tasting before they were done, I got scared and dumped some tamari over the lot, then worried if I’d completely messed it all up. Nope. It’s yummy!

Tilapia en Feuilles de Betteraves

  • fillets of tilapia, 4oz each
  • beet greens to wrap individually (adult beet greens, sans stems, are large but you may need to use more than one)
  • 1T coconut oil, per fillet
  • 1/2t lime juice
  • salt
  • rosemary
  • 2T tamari
I steamed them with seasonings dressed upon the fish, then wrapped in leaves, then lightly salted the outsides of the leaves (to “tenderize”). When I tested the fish (when thickest part flakes, it’s done), it still had some time left. I tugged off a piece of beet leaf and it was still putting up a good fight. I dumped 2T of tamari over the whole mess.
It tastes great to me! Granted, only about 1/3 of the beet leaves were tender enough to eat, so I put the fillets and what was left of the “good” leaves onto a cup of raw spinach, then placed sautĂ©ed summer squash and carrots (leftovers) around them.
For lunch, I put an entire serving in a container, reheated and chopped up (to eat). So, you only get that photo cos I was too tired to photograph whilst cooking. Sorry!

 

beet it…just beet it (raw or cooked beets & greens)

Beet greens are just about #1 in B vitamins when it comes to your average/ everyday veg–better than kale!

For the newcomers, I was raised on a working ranch and we raised everything we ate (including sugar cane)–with a “veg patch” of over 3 acres. Don’t tell me I’m lucky–I was the worker!

The upside is I knew how to run a kitchen by the age of 8! Also, well, I ate organic everything til I moved away around age 15 (including our own spring water, which tastes like Evian).

Right!

Point is, while we wasted little, we didn’t eat beet greens. We ate “wild edibles” or “wildcrafting” (what is truly “weeds”) and turnip greens, leaf lettuces, spinach, etc. Not beet greens. I started using them along with kohlrabi leaves as an adult (back on the ranch, which is now retired). Why? Times are tight. If it’s edible, I’m eating it. Turns out these things are very, very good for you!

You put a small spade in the ground near the beetroot and break up the soil to make it easier to pull out by the bottom of the stems. “Garden wash” (we get most of the bugs and dirt off outside) and let drain. When you bring them in, you can separate the beetroot from the beet greens but take care to leave PLENTY of stem (beet-violet is a strong dye!).

Cover with water in saucepan and boil til a fork inserts easily (only beetroot).

Drain and allow to cool enough so that you can handle them. The skin comes right off with fingertips (mind that any that slides under your nails will stain!).

 

 

Point is, you just pull it off with less effort that it takes to rip loose velcro on a toddler’s shoe. It’s REALLY easy.

beet greens pureed

Usually, I cook beet greens but this time, I thought I’d try them in a smoothie, like I like kale!

Erm…I used about 3C water and 1/2 of the beet greens I had here. Maybe 6C? It was quite bitter. Too bad I had no banana. I tried a peach and an apple but it was still sort of icky. I added some chia seeds (mmm, fat!) but it was still sort of bitter.

 

Finally, I remembered Gram’s saying, “Salt brings out the sweetness” and put in 2 dashes (from a shaker) of salt. That was for 6C of beet greens purĂ©ed in 3c (or so) of water…It was better the next day. That’s the salt doing its work!

For cooked beet roots, see:

 

Toasted Almond, Shrimp and Beet Greens, stirfry


or…I used some like this:

Extra Lean (96% lean) Ground Beef and Beet Greens

  • 1lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 10C raw, cleaned and destremmed beet greens
  • Hungarian paprika, ground coriander, rosemary, onions, ginger and salt (make sure all spices are gluten-free)

Fried up all together! I’m eating raw cauliflower on the side for work lunches. 🙂

 

Toasted Almond, Shrimp and Beet Greens, stirfry

As usual, I cook fairly unplanned. I keep foods on hand and being warmer weather, that means using whatever’s harvestable from the garden.

I had set out some pre-cooked small shrimp the night before (enough for one serving or “the last from the freezer”). I also had a several messes* of beet greens (you can pluck a few greens from growing beet roots w/o deteriorating the plant’s health–also, do this when they’re young, shiny and plump) and a bit of “broccoli salad.” I love that stuff! I can’t eat broccoli normally with my colon issues but if it’s stripped into these tiny “straws,” I seem to get away with it (still have issues but not HORRIBLE issues–and I really like it).

Toasted Almond, Shrimp and Beet Greens

  • raw almonds
  • about 3 handfuls of beet greens (clean)
  • handful of broccoli slaw
  • 3oz shrimp
  • 2T tamari

I cheated and added some EVOO to the pan but you can choose coconut oil or whatever — normally when toasting nuts, I use NO added oil but I was thinking ahead…

Toast almonds til they release perfume (not smoke!) and remove skillet from heat, add beet greens to almonds/ oil and place back on burner, tossing often. They will cook down very, very small! Add broccoli slaw, which won’t “cook through” but will begin to wilt. Pour in tamari and toss in shrimp, coating. Enjoy!

Note, this is high in calorie and high in fat (you can save salt by not using tamari) but uber fresh and pretty tasty. I prefer beet greens raw (some veg “sweetens” with cooking; I find beet greens turn a bit bitter, hence adding fats and salty-sauce).