We had a small bag of tiny beets that had been thinned the other day and decided to make a simple wilted salad with a dab of Dijon mustard to offset the leaves' rich minerality. First, I took the marble-sized beets, cleaned them of dirt and put them in a skillet on medium high heat with a tsp of safflower oil. I sautéed them until they just began to brown, five or six minutes, rolling them about in the pan frequently. I then removed them from the heat and dusted them with a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper.
I washed the beet tops and discarded their tough stems. Then heated a few drops of safflower oil in a skillet on medium heat and added the beet leaves. I tossed them about continually in the oil for four minutes. It would be even better here if you had a piece of bacon that you fried crispy and then withered your greens in the bacon fat. The leaves do very well with the smoke from the bacon. I removed the greens from the heat and added a half tsp of Dijon mustard, a drizzle of tamari, a few drops of good olive oil, one or two grindings of black pepper and a dash of Tabasco. I plated the warm salad and crowned it with the carmelized beets and a few slivers of pickled onion. We used some lovely, sweet pearl onions that Bee pickled a couple of years ago, but it would be easy to make a quick red onion pickle. Just take a sliced medium onion or half a large one and put the slices in a bowl with a couple of large pinches of fine salt, a couple of large pinches of sugar and a tablespoon of vinegar of your choice. Mix all together with your hands, cover and let it sit at room temp for at least a half hour. The onions will mellow if you wait longer and will keep for more than a week in the fridge.
This salad would be supreme with a wedge or two of boiled egg- the cooked, creamy yolks mixing with the dressing. Crumble that bacon on top and you've got a meal.