A Dirty Vegetable Secret

Beets 2

Beets - the newest addition to my dinner table.

I did not grow up in a beet household. Beets did not make an appearance at the table – along with lima beans, acorn squash, and other foods that my parents were forced to eat as children. My mother, who was the resident beet hater, even made a valiant attempt to like them again when beets started showing up on the appetizer lists of all our favorite local restaurants. But she remains a solid beet hater – even of the local, organic, family-farmed variety.

So the following statement will probably be the cause of some family controversy, but I actually really like beets. I’ve been buying golden beets at the Mount Pleasant farmer’s market lately and they’re the perfect way to dress up an otherwise boring dinner of fried eggs.

I’ve been roasting them, topping them with a little vinegar, salt, pepper, and goat cheese, and serving them with the sauteed beet greens. The greens are a little acidic, but they mellow out with the addition of garlic and a sprinkling of goat cheese. I know that Mark Bittman thinks the combination of beets and goat cheese is overdone, but to the beet novice like me, it’s a revelation. The creamy and tart cheese against the sweet, earthy beets is a perfect combination.

Sorry Mom. But I think beets have found a new convert.

Beets 1

Beets - lovely to eat, lovely to look at. Another reason to love them.

Roasted Beets With Sauteed Beet Greens
Adapted From Martha Stewart
Makes two (largish) servings

One bunch beets (approximately 4-5 beets)
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 oz goat cheese (approximately)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stems from the beets and set aside. Wash beets, wrap in foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast 35-45 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, wash, drain, and roughly chop the beet greens. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add beet greens and sauté until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter before topping with goat cheese.

When beets are done, remove from oven and let cool until able to handle. Remove the skins by holding beets in a clean paper towel and gently rubbing off the skins. Slice into 1/4 thick slices, place on a serving tray, and lightly sprinkle with vineger, salt, and pepper. Top slices with the remaining goat cheese, and serve.



  1. Alice said

    Drool! I never liked beets until I was fed some by Russians. I think our parents’ generation only had beets from cans, and those are gross. Another really tasty preparation is a grated beet salad with garlic and raisins.

  2. Bonnie aka Mom said

    Funny, I was just thinking about giving beets another go-round after a friend was singing the praises of some she picked up at the farmer’s market. I’m really trying to like them. In my defense, Dad also shares my beet and sweet autumn squash views so you kids never stood a chance of developing a taste for them. Now lima beans, no way-not in a million years-not even if I’m stranded on an island starving and lima beans were the only food available.

  3. sonja e said

    how funny that i’m reading this today! i just bought beets down at farmer’s market and thought “now should i eat the greens? how should i cook them?” i myself grew up forced to eat loathsome pickled purple beets, however some years back i discovered that unpickled, beets are quite lovely. 🙂 still, i only brave them every year or too. i was planning to grate the fresh uncooked beets to use in sandwiches for lunch this week.

  4. sonja e said

    oh, and please tell me you’ve tried acorn squash? roasted with brown sugar and butter, it’s about the best thing on earth. like pie disguised as a vegetable!

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