Beets are not always a well loved vegetable, but when prepared correctly they are delicious! Beets with their greens are two for one deal as they can both be used. I’ll show you how to cook beets and beet greens with a recipe for roasted beets and sauteed beet greens!
Beets: Two Vegetables in One
The start of each new season is always exciting for me as it brings new and wonderful things in the garden and subsequently to the kitchen. Spring and summer produce is always so fun and bountiful that it’s a great time to come up with new recipes.
Farmers Markets are booming and it’s a perfect time to support your local farms by buying their produce. One great way to do this is to sign up for a CSA veggie box.
We got beets in our most recent veggie box, which is exciting! Many people don’t know quite what to do with beets, but keep reading and I’ll show you how to cook beets and beet greens.
Beets are two vegetables in one, just like turnips and radishes!
How to Cook Beets
Beets are a vegetable that people either seem to love or hate. Unfortunately they have been maligned by many people, usually only because of the way they are prepared.
Trust me on this one, though — once I show you how to cook beets and their greens I think you will become a convert!
I will show you how to roast the beet roots which not only gives delicious results, but is also really easy. I will also show you how to saute the greens with bacon, which is the best way to to make them!
The best part about beets is that they are actually two vegetables in one, the roots and the greens. If you buy them at the farmers market or at your local grocery store make sure to buy them with the greens attached.
Make sure to wash everything well, cut the root tips off and send them to compost, then cut the greens from the roots. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Roasting the beets does take a bit of time, an hour or more, for them to be completely cooked, so keep that in mind.
First, if your beets are big, cut them into smaller wedges. If they are small leave them whole or simply cut them in half.
Put them on a piece of tin foil on a sheet pan or cast iron skillet, drizzle the wedges with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
If you don’t want the tin foil to touch the beets, you can put a piece of parchment paper in between.
Close up the tin foil and put it in the preheated oven for at least an hour.
After an hour check the roasting beet roots with a knife to see if they are tender. They may need to cook for up to 30 minutes longer.
Once they are fully cooked pull them out of the oven and open the foil to let them cool for a little while.
The next step is to peel the beets, which is easy to do once they are cool enough to handle. Just use a paring knife on the skins and they will easily come right off.
Sauteed Beet Greens with Bacon (or Pancetta)
While the beets are roasting, cook the beet greens.
Roughly chop up the greens. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add a handful of bacon or pancetta pieces. Of course this is an optional ingredient, but I highly recommend it!
Once the bacon starts to get a little crispy, add the beet greens to the pan.
You may need to add a little oil or butter if your bacon or pancetta didn’t render a lot of fat.
Add a little salt and pepper and saute until the greens start to soften just a bit. Then add some minced garlic to the pan and continue to cook until the greens are wilted and fully cooked through.
And that’s all there is to it! You’ll never want to have beets any other way after this.
I like to do a lot at a time if I can because of the long roasting time, and also because once you have roasted beets in the fridge they are an easy addition to salads or other meals.
The sauteed beet greens are fabulous with eggs or added to soups or stews.
Learn How to Cook Other Vegetables
Here are a few other not-so-usual vegetables you may need a little help learning to prepare in a way that makes you fall in love with them at first bite!
- 8 Ways to Eat Radishes & Their Greens
- How to Cook Turnips & Their Greens
- Easy Ways To Cook Winter Squash
- How to Cook & Eat Artichokes
- How to Cook Jerusalem Artichokes
- What to Do with Cabbage
- How to Cook Burdock Root
Please tell me, how do you like to cook beets or beet greens?
Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens with Bacon
- 3-6 beets
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the beets well. Cut the root tips off then cut the greens from the roots.
- If your beets are big, cut them into smaller wedges. If they are small leave them whole or simply cut them in half.
- Put them on a piece of tinfoil (lined with parchment paper if you prefer) on a sheet pan or in a cast iron skillet, drizzle the wedges with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Close up the tinfoil and put the beets in the preheated oven for at least an hour.
- After an hour check the roasting beets with a knife to see if they are tender. They may need to cook for up to 30 minutes longer.
- Once the beets are fully cooked pull them out of the oven and open the foil to let them cool for a little while.
- After they have cooled enough to handle, peel the beets with a paring knife.
Sauteed Beet Greens
- In the meantime, cook the beet greens. Wash them well and roughly chop up the greens.
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the bacon or pancetta pieces.
- Once the bacon starts to get a little crispy, add the beet greens to the pan. You may need to add a little oil or butter if your bacon or pancetta didn’t render a lot of fat.
- Add a little salt and pepper and sauté until the greens start to soften just a bit.
- Then add some minced garlic to the pan and continue to cook until the greens are wilted and fully cooked through.
- Peeling the skin off roasted beets is simple when using a paring knife. They come off easily!
You should never use aluminum foil to cook with!
Can someone explain this to me? I do think foil wrapped cooking is time saving, great method for preserving flavour. I mostly use it for barbeque but am curious why anyone would oppose it so greatly.
It’s something about the aluminum being absorbed into the food affects the body negatively.
I love foil for lots of things, but wrap foods in wax paper before wrapping it in foil for even better cooking and keeping in the moisture.
Thank you for your blog. I’ll try your recipe, but with sausage instead of bacon.
Susan ng says
I have been eating beetroot as a detox for my body.
I have no colon and have been relying on tablets the beetroot works a treat
I must try using the greens ,have just planted some beetroot ,but until they grow I will have
to buy them
i didnt do the beet part long enough but ill cook it again tomorrow for twice baked. plus we were full from the greens. and wow they were yummy. i used bacon grease since i did not have bacon handy.
I think that they cut off the tops so you can’t see how old they are! I usually cook the stem bit first before adding the leafy bits. A squeeze of lemon juice is good.
I’m definitely one of those who loves beets, my hubby rather hates them, but he does like them pickled. So I tend to pickle them lol. This looks like a nice way to cook them, I was looking for beet ideas earlier today. Thanks for the idea.:)
Robin Jozovich says