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Jul 1, 2010 02:52 PM

QUICK help with fresh beets - Please!

just posted this on another board - so apologize in advance.

I bought at the farmer's market today some fresh beets - on the stems, with their leaves. I don't really know how to cook them - have been reading different recipes on line. BUt now I just read about cutting off the stems fairly soon after buying them, even if I am not preparing the beets as the stems will dry out the beets? In this case, I also read about using the leaves. Does this mean just the greens at the tops? And then do I discard the thicker red stalks?

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  1. You can cut the greens off about 1/2 an inch above the top of the beet. There are many different ways to cook them -- steaming is the easiest, if not the most interesting.

    Yes, the greens are edible if they are not too old. They taste rather like chard. You can eat the entire leaf and the stems, just like with chard or spinach. I actually find the pink stems the sweetest part.

    1. Cut the stems off, leaving about an inch still attached to the beet to prevent "bleed out".

      You can cook the greens a myriad of ways. My favorite is sauteed with a little garlic in olive oil, then a splash of vinegar and some crumbled bacon on top. So delicious! Just chop 'em up into roughly bite size pieces and discard the thickest part of the stems.

      For the beets themselves, you can steam them, roast them, microwave them, even cook 'em on the grill!

      I tend to steam them (time depends on the size of the beets), when they are fully cooked, the skin rubs right off. I serve them with butter and salt and pepper.

      7 Replies
      1. re: tzurriz

        Why do you discard the thickest part of the stem, if I may ask? I always eat it and think it tastes great.

        1. re: visciole

          I've gotten some with nearly inch thick portions of the stem, and that gets a little "woody" for my taste.

          1. re: tzurriz

            Wow, that's big! I never saw stems that thick.

            1. re: visciole

              Yeah, that's why I say to discard the thickest part of the stems. :)

              1. re: tzurriz

                thanks all for your help - now I made the beets last night but didn't do anything yet with the stalks and leaves. Left them on the kitchen counter (probably a mistake) - they seem wilted - should I still cook them or forget about it?

                1. re: smilingal

                  Depends on how wilted. Use your best judgement--They're probably fine, you certainly won't get food poisoning if you err on the side of too wilted.

                  1. re: smilingal

                    The rule is usually eat the greens first. They wilt when you cook them anyway.

                    I prefer the beet root anyway (which I boil, or grate raw for salads).

                    For a great salad, mix sections of beets with blue cheese and walnuts and then serve on a green lettuce with a little vinaigrette.