Beets with their Greens
One of the most beloved vegetables in our house is the beet, a root crop veggie that’s become a lunch-time side staple for Harper (age 6), Asher (almost 4!), and me. Lightly steamed beets sprinkled with sea salt are the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
If you think you don’t like beets, I ask you to please give them another chance. Beets are incredibly good for you—they contain vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, and they’re full of phytonutrients. Beets are also one of only a few plants that contain pigments called betalains, which exhibit strong antioxidant activity–in other words, they can help prevent cancer. They’re one of those foods that taste good and actually ARE good for you at the same time.
Since these beauties are already harvested, you get to spend all your time focused on the cooking (and the eating!).
You’re going to start by cutting and setting aside the greens, then thinly slicing and gently steaming the beets. While the beets are steaming, chop up those greens, then toss them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for your salad base.
Once the beets are cooled, toss half the beets with the greens, then place the other half on top of the salad. Sprinkle the salad with feta, chopped toasted walnuts, and a little more oil and vinegar.
If you’d like, season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
For the printable recipe, scroll to the bottom of the page.
What to do with the cooking water and leftover greens?
One of the downsides of steaming beets (as opposed to eating them raw) is that you lose some of the nutrients in the water. Because I want to get as much as I can out of each beet, I use the cooking water for the liquid in my smoothies throughout the week. I also use the leftover beet greens in my smoothies.
I’ll eventually post more about my experience with green smoothies, but for now, here’s a simple recipe for those of you who are already familiar with this amazing drink.
Smoothie with Beet Greens
Place beet greens, banana, strawberries, and beet water in blender. Blend to your desired consistency. Enjoy!
Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma
- 6 small beets, with their greens
- ¼ cup feta, gorgonzola, or chèvre
- Olive oil, 1 T 1 ½ tsp
- Balsamic vinegar, 1 T 1 ½ tsp
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Start by boiling a couple inches of water in a medium-sized pot.
- Remove greens from the beets and set aside.
- Thinly slice beets and place in steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, place the beets directly in the water. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, until you can easily insert a fork into the beets (but not so long that the beets are falling apart!). Remove from steamer and cool. Set aside the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, wash and dry the greens. Chop the greens until you have about 4 cups. Set aside the extra greens.
- Pour 1 T oil and 1 T vinegar into the bottom of a salad bowl. Place the chopped beet greens into the bowl and toss with the vinegar and oil.
- When beets are cool, toss half the beets with the greens. Place the other half of the beets on top of the tossed salad.
- Sprinkle with feta and walnuts. Drizzle with ½ tsp oil and ½ tsp vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- This recipe includes every part of the beet. If you’d like to eat the beets on their own, simply steam the beets and sprinkle with sea salt.
I decided to try out Julie’s recipe for Beets with their Greens.
My husband and I already like beets (especially Dan and Julie’s beets:), so that was a plus. Trying out the greens was a new experience.
The combination of beets and greens tossed with the combination
of balsamic vinegar and olive oil was delicious. I topped this off with the gorgonzola cheese which lent a sharp flavor as opposed to the sweetness of the beets. We were quite impressed with this delightful combination of flavors. I will be making this recipe again!
Thanks for sharing, Mom! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Hi my name is Nichole, and this is my first experience with beets. I know! I consider myself a healthy eater, but somehow beets have never made the menu…until now! I tried this recipe for the beets with their greens and I was pleasantly surprised. (Would have been even better if I had feta cheese) I used the water from steaming them and some of the leftover steamed beets in a green smoothie the next day (which turned it dark pink) and it was really good! Even my 19 month old devoured the smoothie! I also made beet chips! SO GOOD! Thanks Perkins Good Earth Farm!
You’re welcome, Nichole! Thanks for be willing to try new foods and share your experience!