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Jul 1, 2010 02:49 PM

HELP QUICK! - Fresh beets

Never made them - have been reading about using the greens as well - but does that mean the thick red stalks? I wouldn't think so. What do I do? with the stems? beets? I read to wilt the greens in boiling water then mix with carmelized onions and garlic and mix in with pasta - that sounds good - but couldn't I wilt the greens and mix those in the olive oil with the onions and garlic as well? Again - do I just take off the leaves from the stems? This doesn't seem to leave a lot to wilt!!

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  1. if the red stems are really thick, cut around them & throw away.
    depending on how fresh & tender they look, you don't need to pre-wilt them in boiling water. i usually just saute mine slowly in some oil. (i also add in a touch of soy and maple syrup, but this may not go with what you're planning.) they will cook down considerably so you will have much less than when you started, kind of like kale. don't be surprised.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rudysmom

      a few are actually looking kind of wilted and turning yellow

      1. re: smilingal

        The greens should be green in color and firm - some blemishes are normal, but if they show age or wilting, toss them out. One bunch of beets will tend not to provide enough for much final product. Next time, if you buy them from a produce stand or farmer's market, you can ask if they have any extra beet greens. Otherwise, one good thing to do is combine with spinach or chard. They can be cooked like spinach or chard, incidentally. I usually just saute the leaves in olive oil with some garlic til they wilt and cook.

    2. with the beets, you can wrap them individually in foil, put them in a 350 degree oven, roast for maybe 45 minutes - test to see if your fork goes thru easily and if not, cook some more. then put in sink under running cold water so they cool. when a bit cool, keep water running, take off foil, rub skin off under water. keeps your hands cool, keeps the red stain off. enjoy sliced with a nice lemony dijon shallot vinaigrette, with crumbled feta, sliced chives, sliced toasted almonds over the top.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mariacarmen

        i take the bulbs, and nuke them in the micro til slightly soft, then put them in pam sprayed foil. i run the knife through each beet several times, but not all the way through to the bottom. then i put a nice fresh sprig of rosemary through each cut and sprinkle the whole thing with sea salt and pepper. roast at 375 til they're soft. then remove rosemary. slice em as desired, drizzle with lemon juice, chopped chives and dabble with goat cheese or feta.

      2. For the beets themselves, I am a big fan of roasting. But most places, it's kinda hot to heat up the oven. I recently steamed my beets and they were delicious - not as deep & rich a flavor as roasted, but still very very good. Cut off the top & bottom, scrub clean and set in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until fork-tender.

        You can keep steamed beets (or roasted) in the fridge for about a week. Add them to salads, slice them and mix with a little extra-virgin olive oil S&P and goat cheese, dress them with a Dijon vinaigrette - all great and quick!


        1. for the beets, I also prefer roasted, but I don't run them under water--I would feel that it would wash away some flavor or something. I just cool them in the foil, then peel--often slips off with my fingers, and then slice. I have cooked them from 350-450 degrees and for different lengths of time, dpending on size and what else is in my over.

          once roasted, one of my favorites is a salad with blue cheese and a simple vinaigrette. or sliced or wedged beets drizzled with great olive oil, salt and pepper, alone or with a soft fresh goat. I have also roasted on a grill, which leads to a nice smoky flavor and served with a lemon yogurt dip. and if it is too hot for cooking, try fresh beets grated raw into salad. also delicious.

          1. I also like them roasted and used in salads like others have posted.. Clean and roast in foil in a pan. I don't wrap seperately, but lay them close together in one layer. Rub off the skins, slice, cube or wedge with field greens, feta or blue cheese and a simple vinaigrette. Had a beet salad earlier in the week at a restaurant that was field greens, feta, the peppery green (watercress?) and mandarin orange slices. The pepper greens and citrus was so tasty with the beets.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Island

              That sounds so good (the cress/orange salad)! I was just going to mention that the roasted beets and blue cheese combo is crazy good with a handful of toasted walnuts or pecans tossed in, and an orange used in the vinaigrette really helps bring out the flavor of the beets.

              1. re: mamachef

                mama I was surprised how good it was. My husband loves beets and we shared it. as an opener. Otherwise it wouldn't have been my first choice, but I'm so glad I tried it. That's something I can make at home and will!