The flavor of the deep red beet is basically synonymous with “earthy” and adds some much-needed color to green salads and roasted root veggie dishes, even if they sometimes stain your fingers blood red. But if you aren’t a big fan or user of beets, you may be left scratching your head when you receive an entire bunch of beets—stem and all! So, we’ve put together four handy recipes (plus tasty tips) to help you eat the entire bunch of beets:
- Simple roasted beets
- Beet greens pesto
- Pickled beet stems
- Beet pancakes
Roasted beets are easy to prepare and good to have on hand for a number of tasty recipes. Store cooked beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them later in a salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar, folded into a risotto, or wedged between thick slices of sandwich bread with good quality mustard and mayonnaise.
- 3 whole beets, stems and leaves removed
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Rub beets with oil, salt, and pepper. Individually wrap them in aluminum foil. Roast 45-60 minutes until beets are soft and fork tender.
If beets are a mix of large and small, halve the larger beets so they’re all of similar size.
This basic pesto recipe works for any greens you have, including the greens from the tops of carrots, leftover kale, spinach leaves, and any bunch of herbs you want to use like parsley and cilantro. Or, try doing a mix of all five!
- 1–2 cups of loosely packed beet leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1/3 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 large pinches sea salt
- Put everything into a food processor and blend until well combined. Add more olive oil depending on your preferred pesto texture. Taste and add more salt if desired.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Pesto is such a hardworking flavor-booster and a super simple, fast dinner solution. Always keep a jar in the fridge to throw over a big bowl of hot al dente penne pasta. Kids (and parents!) love it.
Have leftover vegetables in your box that you don’t know what to do with? You can quick pickle any vegetable you have—mushrooms, carrots, radishes, turnips, you name it!
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar (just don’t use balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup beet stems, sliced
- In a glass jar, cover beet stems with salt, sugar, and vinegar. If there isn’t enough liquid, add water until stems are covered. Mix until sugar and salt dissolve, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Let the stems pickle for at least 30 minutes before using but preferably 24 hours. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Pickled beet stems add color, texture, and flavor to any dish! Use them whenever you would use a regular pickled cucumber. Add as a side to a breaded chicken breast, add to any sandwich, burger, or even to top a piece of grilled salmon. For a tangy salad, toss pickled beet stems with sliced pears, walnuts, and goat cheese.
Despite their deep burgundy color, beet pancakes taste just like regular pancakes. They’re not overly beet-y or earthy, so kids will love them.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup and 1 tablespoon milk of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 oven-roasted beet
- Butter or oil
- Put flour, baking soda, milk, salt, and beet in a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. If the batter is too thick, add a tablespoon of water or milk to thin it out.
- Add butter or oil to a medium-hot pan. Pour batter, swiftly swirling to coat the entire base of the pan. Don’t flip! Simply remove the pancake when completely cooked through—it will be littered with bubbly holes.
- To serve, top with whatever you have on hand, but we like both savory and sweet toppings:
- Fresh ricotta
- Lemon zest
- Hot sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
- Avocado wedges
- Dijon mustard
- Fried eggs
- Grated cheese
- To assemble a fully-loaded beet pancake: Lay pancake on a plate, top with a dollop of ricotta with squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Layer on a spoonful of beet green pesto, sliced scallions, hot sauce, pickled beet stems, and slices of avocado.
Save leftover cooked pancakes for breakfast! They can be topped with something sweet, like apple or pear puree, strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or sliced bananas with maple syrup and a side of bacon. Or, make a savory Ham, Egg and Cheese French Crépe: Put a pre-cooked beet pancake into a warm frying pan. Add a sprinkle of grated cheese. Once the cheese melts, add ham and top with a fried egg. Remove from pan. Fold edges over and serve like a French-style crépe and serve with a side of spicy Djion mustard.
Even more ways to use beets: