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Paul Newman's Sautéed Beet GreensCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
Paul Newman was one of the most highly respected actor-directors in Hollywood. His 50-year marriage to actress Joanne Woodward was also one of the longest and happiest in Tinseltown, defying all odds.
Paul's successful life symbolized defying the odds. He was active in show business for more than five decades and accrued an impressive string of nominations and awards for his electrifying acting performances and directorial accomplishments: Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for The Long Hot Summer, Best Actor Oscar for The Color of Money, Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Empire Falls, several Golden Globe Awards for Most Promising Newcomer, Best Director for Rachel, Rachel, Best Supporting Actor for Empire Falls, New York Film Critics Circle Best Actor Award for Nobody's Fool, and Golden Laurel Award for Best Actor in Hud, to name a few.
Surprisingly, he did not win Oscars for some of his most memorable roles in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or The Hustler. Paul was ranked the Number 1 Box Office star in the US for both 1969 and 1970.
An international superstar with startling blue eyes and an arresting smile, Paul was charismatic and sexy on the screen, often playing anti-heroes or rebels, and he had legions of devoted fans for most of his career. He was chosen by Empire magazine in 1995 as #12 in their 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History list, and was voted the 13th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Paul was an avid race car driver most of his life (he finished second in the 1979 Le Mans 24-hour race in a Porsche 935) as well as a visionary businessman. Later, at an age when most people are thinking of retiring, he had the drive of an entrepreneur to start his own salad dressing company, using his own homemade concoction as the starting point. He created the company "Newman's Own," and it was such a successful line of food products that it has earned in excess of $100 million. A generous man, Paul donated every penny of the Newman's Own profits to charity.
Well-known for his wicked sense of humor, in 1998 he quipped that he was a little embarrassed to see his salad dressing grossing more profits than his movies. He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1994 in recognition of his charity work. Upon his death, it was estimated that since the 1980s, he had donated more than $175 million to charities.
Newman's death in September 2008, while not surprising because he'd been in serious ill health for a while, was still a sad day for his countless friends and fans around the world. Paul was 83 years young.
Newman's thrift-minded, healthy recipe for sautéed beet greens is from his excellent 1998 cookbook Newman's Own Cookbook, with whom his old-time friend — editor, novelist, and playwright A. E. Hotchner — collaborated.
Paul Newman's Sautéed Beet Greens
Substitute well-rinsed spinach or Swiss chard here if you are unable to find beet greens. The tofu contributes a nice creaminess and makes this more of a main dish for vegetarians. If tofu is not for you, leave it out.
- 1-3/4 pounds beet greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup diced firm tofu (optional)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Stem the beet greens, rinse the leaves well, and julienne the leaves. You should have 10 cups of shredded leaves. Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are just softened. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beet greens. Sauté, tossing, until the leaves wilt, 5 to 7 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the tofu, wine, and sesame seeds, and toss gently until heated through. Stir in the butter and Worcestershire sauce.Serves 6.
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Internet Movie Database, "Paul Newman" (www.imdb.com).
Newman, Paul and Hotchner, A. E., Newman's Own Bookbook, Hole in the Gang Fund, Simon & Schuster, NY, 1998.
Wikipedi.org website, "Paul Newman," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Newman).