Chard also works well in this recipe (chard is a member of the beet family), as would mustard greens, turnip greens…
The slightly bitter taste of the beet greens is nicely tempered by the goat cheese. You can use all olive oil, or all butter here.
1 bunch beet greens (or chard)
2 onions, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 – 2 T balsamic vinegar (or 2 t red wine vinegar)
5 oz creamy goat cheese
3/4 pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
1/2 lb penne (2 c dry)
1/2 c white wine, or stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Bring a pot of water to the boil for the pasta. Wash beet greens. If the stems are long, cut them off, and then cut them into small pieces, if desired. Chop the leaves coarsely.
2. Saute onion and beet green stems (if using) in the olive oil and butter until they are soft and and the onion is beginning to color. Add the beet greens and toss with the onion/stem mixture until the greens wilt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender. Toss with some salt and the vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes.
3. Meanwhile, the pasta is in the boiling water. Crumble the goat cheese. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat until they begin to turn golden. (Watch them, they can burn in no time!)
4. Just before the pasta is ready, bring the greens back to medium high heat and add the white wine. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of cooking liquid. Add the crumbed cheese to the hot greens mixture along with the pasta and mix it all together well. If the mixture seems dry, add a few splashes of the cooking liquid. Serve at once, sprinkling the pine nuts over all or over each individual serving.