chinese 5 spice and beets make fantastic partners. this dish is stunning in its vibrant color combination and makes a flavorful side dish.
2-3 medium size red beets with their greens
1 tsp fresh ginger finely grated
1 clove garlic
1 Tbl sesame oil
1/2-1 Tbl raw honey
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice
fresh ground pepper and sea salt
2 Tbl whole milk plain yogurt (optional)
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Chop off the top and tail of the beets, wash the beet greens and save. place the beets into a pot, add water to cover them half way and bring to a boil. turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on till just tender, 10-20 minutes. the beets are ready when a fork can be inserted w/out trouble. at this point, turn off the heat and let the beets cool to touch before rubbing the skins off with a paper towel. reserve the red cooking liquid.
While the beets steam, mix the ginger, honey, apple cider vinegar and chinese 5 spice in a bowl big enough to hold the beets and set aside. this is the dressing. if time allows, grate the ginger, mince the garlic (set aside) and roughly chop up the beets greens (with or without the stems, i do without).
Slice the steamed and peeled beets into 1/2” rounds and place in a saute pan w/ the sesame oil. turn the heat to medium and saute briefly, stirring occasionally. when the beets are hot and glistening with oil , add the garlic and ginger. saute until the garlic begins to let off its aroma and gently color, around 1-2 minutes. gently place the beets in the bowl with the reserved dressing, add 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved beet cooking liquid & mix well.
To the now empty hot saute pan, add the chopped beet greens, turn the heat to medium low and saute till the greens wilt, a minute or two.
Get a serving plate ready. with a slotted spoon, transfer the beet greens to the plate, leaving any remaining water in the pan. next, drizzle the yogurt over the greens. mix up the beets and dressing one more time before pouring over the yogurt and greens. sprinkle with sesame seeds, fresh ground pepper and a little salt if you wish, enjoy!