(As seen on Phasing in the Holidays)
I’ve never understood why some people dislike beets. Perhaps the only way they’ve been tasted is from a can? Fresh beets are delicious, and incredibly nutritious. And today they come in some pretty amazing colors, even striped! Often overlooked beet greens are also a nutritional powerhouse, and saddest of all, frequently end up in the trash!
This recipe highlights the beauty of beets, while using all parts of this undervalued root. You could easily arrange the different colored beets on a plate of cooked greens, separated by color or not, and it will be very pretty. But if you have the time and want to really wow your diners, stack the beets by color in 3” circular molds (you could use cookie or biscuit cutters) and place on top of the greens before removing the mold. Top with microgreens or arugula (if desired) and wait for the applause!
2 red beets with greens
2 golden beets with greens (or candy-striped beets if your market has them)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking greens) plus more for oiling beets
3 tablespoons olive oil (for dressing)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (for dressing)plus 1 tablespoon (for beet greens)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons assorted fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, basil, parsley all work well)
2 cups microgreens or arugula (optional)
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Rub beets with olive oil and season with salt. Wrap red and golden beets separately from one another in foil and seal tightly. Bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, just until a knife can be easily inserted into the center of a beet. Remove from oven and allow to cool in foil just until you can handle them without burning your fingers.
While beets are cooking, whisk together apple cider vinegar, salt, Dijon mustard and herbs. Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
Remove beets from foil (you may want to wear gloves as the beets will discolor your hands!) and remove skins. Keeping the different color beets separate from one another, chop them into 1/2” cubes and place into separate bowls. Reserving 1 tablespoon dressing for microgreens, toss each bowl of beet cubes with half of the dressing. Set aside.* See note below.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute just until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove tough stems from beet greens and add them, along with 2 tablespoons water, to the pan. Cover and cook until greens are wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook until water has completely evaporated. Season with salt and a tablespoon of cider vinegar.
Toss microgreens with remaining dressing.