Beets – delicious from tip to tip

I confess that until I was in my 30’s I had only ever consumed pickled beets – and while I liked them, I was missing out.  Those glorious blood red orbs have a distinctive but mild flavor that my child has always enjoyed.

I recently bought a set of 3 very large, gorgeous beets with greens and over the course of the next 4 days I used all but the very bottom root and the section where the greens emerge and the skin is particularly thick.  I should have saved those for pink soup stock 😉

I used the beets themselves for beet & avocado salad with goat cheese.  My 11 year old preferred the beets all by themselves.

I also used the beet greens in a lovely kale and cannelini beans dish from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Several days later I chopped the beet stems I’d saved and sauteed them along with onions and spinach as a layer in Luscious Layers – my GF, easy lasagna-type-thang.  Nobody noticed or cared and we used up the whole beet and kaboodle.

First, I will tell you about the original plan for the beets : Beet and Avocado Salad

There are many variations of this combo on-line, all more complicated than the following.

Beets – enough for about 5 or 6 slices for each person
Avocado – enough for about 5 or 6 lices for each person
Goat cheese – mine was honey goat cheese from Trader Joe’s which is relatively cheap, a bit sweet and delicious
lemon juice and olive oil on hand for the drizzlers in the crowd.

Cover the topped/ bottomed beets with water, bring to a boil and then let simmer for 25 – 30 minutes or until the tenderness you desire.

Let them cool off a little and then they are very easy to peel.  The color underneath the skin at this point is unbelievably vibrant.  My slightly fuzzy pic gives you some idea of the color:

Aren’t they pretty?

Once the beets are cool and peeled, you can slice them and arrange the slices on each plate (or throw in a bowl if presentation ain’t in the stars when you make this)
Slice the avocado and lay on top of the beets
crumble a tablespoon or so of goat cheese on top of each one
If you like drizzle a little lemon juice and/or olive oil on top.  I though it was quite good all by itself.

My plate is bigger than my stomach!

The kale and cannelini beans involves boiling the greens which I’ve never done before.  Tenders the little fellows right up!

Boiling Beet Greens Batman!

You see the finished product on the plate with the beet salad.  My 11 year old also ate this without complaint…. I’m on a beet roll…

Last but not least – sauteed beet green stems with onions (to which I added spinach)

The stems have a beet-y flavor, but not overpowering at all.

And for the first time I made and used our good friend Somer’s cashew cheese which can slice and melt.  Wow!  Really delicious.  Somer has variations of this cheese, so if you need dairy free cheese, check out the above and her new blog Vedged Out where you can find her newest cheesy creations and lots of other great plant-based foods.  A warning – the cashew cheese is expensive to make, but for us it was quite a treat to have something creamy and cheesy.

beets? There’s no beets in there!

My other favorite way to eat beets is cut into chunks and roasted with sweet potatoes and yellow or red potatoes and some oil and seasoning.  FANTASTIC.

Little Sis and I have been known to throw raw beet into smoothies as well – makes a lovely pink smoothie!
Little Sis also shared a great Beet soup recipe, as well as Beet burgers.

Who new the much maligned could be something other than pickled?  Glad I know now.

What do you like to do with beets?

52 responses

    • I can’t take credit for the idea – but I did make it a little easier. Last night we had it again and had plain (as opposed to honeyed) goat cheese, so I drizzled just a tiny bit of honey on – it was really good!

  1. Until this summer, I had only ever eaten canned beets and loved them. I was SHOCKED to find that fresh beets, when roasted, are that exact flavor!! I grew and ate a good amount this summer and I have some now growing for winter. I would never boil them though. I cut the top and the root stem and wrap them in foil. Put them in the oven at 375 for an hour. Turn off the oven and forget about them. Take them out, peel back the skin and voila. That way, no nutrients are lost in the boilling. You just have to think ahead to have them ready.

    I too love them just by themselves. I also like to cut them up, put them with some feta (I really dislike goat cheese), some walnuts, some of the beet greens (raw) and some balsamic. Slightly warm, this is amazing.

    When I cook beet greens, I don’t boil those either. I saute some onions in oil and then throw in the greens, cover the pot and let them wilt on medium heat. Again, no loss of nutrients in the boiled water.

    • Good idea to roast whole rather than boiling! I am actually not a big fan of most goat cheese but this honeyed goat cheese we get from Trader Joe’s is very mild and pleasant. Feta is delicious but we are not doing cow dairy at the moment. Thanks for sharing your ideas and love of beets with us!

  2. All sounds so good. I am a big fan of beets, myself. I’ve never tried the stems, though- or cashew cheese! I’d love to! I can imagine it must be expensive with all the work and cahshews put into it.

    Visiting from My Sweet and Savory’s MMhop 🙂

    • I do get cashews bulk on-line, so they are almost half what they want in the grocery store for them! We have struggled a bit with cutting out dairy (for my husband’s colitis) and it has been a nice treat. So glad you stopped by!

    • If I can get cashew pieces for around $5.50 a lb (in bulk at the health food store) and If I buy my Pomona’s Pectin at Whole Foods ($3.39 or something) than the cashew cheese costs me about $3.79 a pound to make, which is as cheap or cheaper than dairy cheese 🙂

      • Awesome! I have not found cashews that cheap. They were that cheap at my local grocery store in the bulk section and then they got wise to what everybody else around here was selling them for. Glad you did the breakdown math – it’s not as high as I thought – even if I pay a little more for my cashews. It sure is good too!

      • It does feel expensive somehow, the first few times I made it I thought it was going to break my grocery budget. It was Amanda at GCF who clued me in on the breakdown, now I made it with reckless abandon. Coming soon…. Nacho cheez. You’re gonna die!

      • That sounds great! I will now willingly branch out flavor wise. You have so generously experimented and provided so many cheese varieties already!

  3. I love beets every which way, juiced roasted, steamed, pickled…. But NOT in smoothies 😉 ugh, I tried it a few times and had a hard time getting the concoction down.

    • thanks for hosting! It is funny how something can look interesting and appealing despite an ingredient that you don’t like. I think sweets are such a visual experience, sometimes they look better than they actually are!

  4. oh i love the crap out of beets!!! goat cheese and beets were obviously made for each other. just yesterday i had a goat cheese “foam” with them at a restaurant…my new favorite thing. note to self: learn how to make goat cheese foam.

    thank you for sharing with us at the wednesday fresh foods link up! i’m looking forward to seeing what seasonal & real/whole food posts you have this week. hope to see you there! xo, kristy

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