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Wild Roots Farm: Community Supported Agriculture

Wild Roots Farm
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Wild Roots

Wild Roots Farm
Amy and Wes Gillingham
669 Cattail Road
Livingston Manor, NY 12758

Fusilli with Beet Greens and Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe contributed by CSA member Richard Kot—from The Nantucket Table by Susan Simon (Chronicle Books, 1998).

When you're buying beets for borscht or any other dish, never let the farm-stand attendee cut off the tops. If you're using the beets first, wrap the greens in paper towels, put them in a plastic bag, and store in the refridgerator up to two days—until you're ready to make this delicious pasta. Beet greens have a delicate, mineral flavor, and in combination with the tomatoes and lemon, they become almost ambrosial. I favor spiral-shaped pasta for this sauce because I like the way the greens cling to it.

  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, stems removed
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped beet greens
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli, gemelli, or other spiral-shaped pasta
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for garnish

Preheat an oven to 500ºF. In a large saucepan or a stockpot, boil water for the pasta. Thinly coat the cherry tomatoes with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast until they look "collapsed," about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the ¼ cup olive oil, and briefly suaté the garlic. Just before the garlic starts to brown, add the greens and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice.

Plunge the pasta into the boiling water and cook. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and add to the greens. Mash the tomatoes with a fork and fully combine with the greens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and let stand while the pasta cooks.

Drain the pasta, but not until completely dry, so that it absorbs the excess water but not the sauce. The sauce should only coat the pasta. Return the pasta to the saucepan or stockpot and combine with the sauce. Serve on warm plates accompanied by the cheese.