I’m trying to find some inventive ways to use up the leftover beetroot leaves as I process them to try to preserve the taste of summer. Beetroot leaves are so similar to perpetual spinach or Swiss chard. For every homegrown beetroot given out, I also say to my willing receiver “did you know you can eat the leaves too?” There is absolutely no reason to waste them so apart from giving them to the chickens as a little treat, I’m also trying to utilise them myself. If you can get hold of whole beetroots with the leaves still attached, or are growing them yourself (or being gifted as I am doing with so many beetroots!) then you absolutely must try them!
The standard purple beetroots still contain some of the bright purple-red colouring found in the bulb, so I would only assume there are some of the same health benefits from eating the leaves as there are from the actual beetroot itself, although it a smaller quantity which is reflected in the light staining you get from the leaves themselves. There hasn’t been any research into this as far as I can see, but at the end of the day it is green and leafy, and as it’s not toxic to humans, I can only assume there must be some good to eating them whole vegetable from root to leaf.
For me, eating beetroot leaves is a true taste of summer, and something I am currently relishing. I hope that you can get your hands on some beetroot leaves, but if you can’t, or decide you need a little reminder of Summer when it’s dark and gloomy in Winter, use baby leaf spinach, kale or even cabbage.
While I think that standard “white” spaghetti would look more aesthetically pleasing, I am always drawn to using wholemeal pasta wherever possible due to the extra fibre (from 7g fibre per portion up to almost 12g). I also think it helps enhance the slight earthiness of the beetroot leaves.
- 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 springs of rosemary, leaves removed from 1 sprig and roughly chopped
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 200g wholemeal pasta
- 150g beetroot leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 ball of fresh burrata
- Mix the chickpeas, 1 tbsp oil, lemon zest, and 2 spring of rosemary in a baking tray. Bake at 180°C fan/ 200°C convection/gas mark 6 for 15 minutes till crispy and fragrant.
- Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, garlic and remaining oil to a saucepan, and cook for 5 minutes, before adding the balsamic vinegar and chopped rosemary. If needed add a little water to stop it from sticking.
- Boil the wholemeal pasta for 2 minutes less than the instructions, reserving a little pasta water.
- Add the beetroot leaves into the tomato sauce before mixing in the cooked pasta. Return to the heat for 1 minute, adding some of the reserved pasta water if required to loosen the sauce.
- Serve with the crispy chickpeas, crispy rosemary, and the burrata ball over the top.
Per serving: 501kcal/ 14.2g fat/ 7.0g saturated fat/ 70.0g carbohydrates/ 11.8g fibre/ 18.6g protein