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Help Me Like Beets

Every summer, I pick up a few bunches of beets from the farmer's market. And every year I aspire to really like beets. Yet my relationship with beets continues to be "meh." Obviously, the world will not end if I don't like beets. But I really want to...

Usually, I roast the beets and put them in a salad with a vinaigrette and goat cheese. I like this well enough to eat, but it's nothing special.

This year, I'd like to try something different. There has to be some way to really enjoy beets. I was thinking of shredding them raw and making a salad out of it.

What are some good beet recipes?


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  1. The beets roesti recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (original edition) is awesome. I like to halve it, make it in an 8-inch skillet, cut the cake into quarters, and serve the quarters on a salad with bacon, goat cheese, and lightly dressed greens.

    1. I peel them, cube them,put them in a foil packet with olive oil, s&p, and roast. Never liked beets before. Like them now.

      1. I actually prefer steamed or boiled beets to roasted ones -- the flavor is a little less . . . I dunno . . . alkaline?

        I make a vinaigrette ahead of time, and peel the beets under running water, slice them into bite-size wedges or thick matchsticks, and throw them into the vinaigrette while they are still as warm as possible. They absorb LOTS of flavor this way!


        1 Reply
        1. re: operagirl

          I agree, after years of roasting beets, I have recently enjoyed them much more cut in batons (like french fry size) and steamed just until crisp tender and tossed in a lemon aioli (or if I'm saving time, just mayo with lemon zest and lemon juice)

        2. you could peel them, slice thinly and serve on hamburgers - along with tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese - and other fixings. It gives a little unexpected sweetness to the burger. Heaps of Aussies and Kiwis can't be wrong - they've been eating burgers like this for years.

          1. A salad of shredded raw beets is my favorite way of eating them- you can even treat it as a 'slaw' and use it as a sandwich topping. Just add sliced onion, chiles and plenty of chopped cilantro, dressed with lemon juice and salt. That's about all you need to do, if you add other ingredients the beets will tend to dominate them anyway, although a topping of goat cheese or feta can stand up to it pretty well if you prefer that component.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TongoRad

              My sister makes a wonderful shredded raw beet salad. I'll have to ask her for the recipe.

            2. Hi Alison,
              Does your farmers market have any slab bacon? Do you eat pork? : )

              If so, dice a couple strips of bacon and saute in a skillet. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and cut beets into cubes and toss in bacon drippings. (you can drain some of the fat but not too much). Roast beets at 375 until cooked through and then toss with bacon pieces again.

              That might do the trick. Enjoy!

              1. Have you tried baby pickled beets? I had never been a fan but after trying the pickled beet- I was surprised to enjoy the taste. I tried homemade canned beets recently and they were better than the kind I've had from a can- which I imagine are what get put onto salad bars.

                1. Beets have always been on the short list of vegetables that make me gag. But I'd like to like them so I bought a bunch of golden beets at the Farmers' Market. Peeled and sliced not too thick and fried them in olive oil until brown/tender and put them on a plate. In the same pan, I added a clove of chopped garlic, the washed and torn beet greens and sauteed for a few minutes with salt and pepper. Added a splash of balsamic at the end and served along side the beets. We finished them off in minutes with our fingers. Really good!d

                  1. Here's my recipe from my blog motherskitchen.blogspot.com even beet haters love it:

                    Luscious Beet salad

                    4 large beets
                    1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
                    1 bunch beet greens, chopped
                    2 scallions, finely chopped
                    1/4 pound feta cheese (optional)

                    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
                    3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
                    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

                    Wash beets. Remove greens but leave beet tops and roots intact. Place beets in a large pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until beets are tender (about an hour). Set aside to cool. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Remove seeds from skillet and set aside.

                    To prepare beet greens, fill a large skillet with water to a depth of 1 inch and heat to a simmer. Wash greens by submerging the bunch in a sink full of cold water. Shake off water and drop greens into simmering water. Let them cook for about 30 seconds, until tender and juicy. Place greens in a colander and gently run cold water over them to halt cooking.

                    Peel beets by cutting off the tops and slipping the skins off with your hands. Slice beets. Squeeze excess water out of the cooked beet greens and chop. Put beets, beet greens, pumpkin seeds, and scallions in a salad bowl. Shake dressing ingredients together in a jar. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Crumble feta cheese on top. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

                    Makes 6 servings

                    1. Bacon with beets sounds AWESOME!!!

                      When I make beets, I will roast them off in a pan with salt, pepper, thyme, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and oil. You can then use the liquid for a fantastic vinaigrette. I think they pair nicely, in a salad, with endive and maybe some nuts and goat cheese.

                      Pickled, if done right, also sounds fantastic, though I've had some "pickled beets" that were just horrid.

                      1. Alison, I love this challenge because I LOVE beets!! Can you say more about what it is that hasn't really enamoured you about beets .... my hubby is in the same boat and I'd love to turn him around but he can't really say what's stopping him from loving them, I'd be delighted to know if there's more you can share.

                        1. Try pairing cooked beets with feta and mint in a heavy on the vinegar vinaigrette. I find the sharp saltiness of a strong feta provides a better contrast to the beets than goat cheese.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sbp

                            definitely feta rather than goat. i make the above dish with the addition of roasted chunks of sweet potato.

                            1. I love beets! My favorite is borscht (my mom's recipe, with cubed beef and onions, served hot--cabbage would be good in it too, although I've never tried it that way). Shredded raw is also a nice way to eat them. I like to mix them with minced chives or green onion and a simple vinaigrette or limonette. You could also go the creamy-dressing route.

                              1. i like to roast them with some other veggies (carrots, onions, parsnips etc.) with some honey, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, butter or/and olive oil, great side dish to roasted chicken

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: L987

                                  That's a good way, yeah, but I find that beets are denser and take longer to cook than other root veges. So I cut them into smaller pieces to make sure they'll be done with the rest.