09/06/2013 13:05

Don't go throwing away those lovely green leaves from your beetroots as they are very nutritious. Here are a few ideas to make the best of them.

When Selecting, choose beet greens with leaves that look fresh, bright and deep green. The young, tender beet leaves have the best flavour. Avoid leaves that are wilted, or turning yellow.

To Store ~ pop the greens in to fridge in a perforated plastic bag for two days at the most.

As we know, Scotty loves to grow beets for the roots and the greens and uses them for cooking and in salads.You know, I reckon he will also be trying out that recipe for beet wine as well!- he is a little tinker!

Prepare Beet Leaves ~ Pull or cut off the large ribs and discard them. Wash thoroughly in a bowl of cool water until completely clean.


Steam: tear or chop into pieces and place in a steamer. Cover and steam for about 5-8 minutes.

Boiling: tear or chop into pieces and place in a pan with a couple inches of boiling water and cover. Boil for about 4-7 minutes.

Microwave: place beet greens in a covered microwave dish with a small amount of water. Cook for about  4-5 minutes.

Beet greens make a great side dish when stir-fried with onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil. Top with a little lemon zest and juice when serving.

Seasoning and foods that go really well with beet greens - lemon /orange- zest & Juice. Cheese - feta / goats cheese. Bacon/ ham. Vinegar. Sour cream.


Lovely in a salad, try this easy recipe...



Greens from 3 beets, including stems
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

Separate beet stems from leaves and chop both. Sauté  the beet stems with oil and water in large frying pan about 3 minutes. Add chopped leaves and remaining ingredients, except lemon juice, and sauté 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and sauté 1 minute more...Can be Served warm or chilled.


* You can use any greens in this recipe - Beet greens, Swiss chard, Spinach, Bok choy, Spring greens.

Serves 4

500g Greens
2 tbsp Olive oil
4 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 Red chilli, deseeded & sliced thinly
Sea Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Coarsely chop the greens, (if using bok choy, cut lenghways into wedges)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic & fry until golden & crisp about 2 mins, remove and set a side. Add the chilli to the oil in the pan & cook 1 min. Pop in the greens, (they will splutter a little so be careful,) add the salt & pepper and mix well, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until tender - Beet greens, bok choy, swiss chard take about 3 minutes. Spring greens about 5mins & spinach about 1-2 mins. Transfer to a warm serving dish and top with the garlic crisps.

serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil    
1 tbsp chopped garlic    
1 tsp salt   
1 tbsp butter    
2 tbsp honey            
1 bunch beet greens, washed, stems removed, & chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup whole, shelled walnuts

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add beet greens. Stir-fry greens over high heat, add garlic & red pepper flakes.Lower heat & let the greens simmer in own juices for about 5 minutes before pouring into a serving dish.
Heat the butter in saucepan for 1 minute before adding walnuts. Shake the nuts in butter, add the honey and coat well, before pouring over beet greens.    


Serves 2/3

225g Spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups rinsed and roughly chopped beet greens
75g grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water according to your package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic, being careful not to let it brown or burn. Add the beet greens and cook, turning so they cook evenly, for about 2-3 minutes, until wilted.
Drained the pasta and return to the pot, add the beet greens and toss together.
Add the grated Parmesan cheese and mix well, add salt & pepper to taste.

* To make a more filling dish try adding some cubed salami or pepperoni and toasted pine nuts immediately after the Parmesan and mix well.

: Try adding at the end of cooking time to any of your favourite soup recipe.


Many folk are a little averse to beetroot, most probably having only experienced the crinkle-cut slices in that rather overpowering vinegar! Well, I think the lovely dark red/purple root veggies are wonderful! they have a sweet, slightly earthy taste, and they have a lovely smooth and velvety texture.

Beetroots come in all shapes and sizes but the most common are round and deep red/purple in colour. Other varieties of beetroots are yellow, white, and even candy-striped - with red and white concentric circles. Very pretty : )

The humble beetroot is related to turnip, swede and sugar beet. Beetroot, botanically-known as Beta vulgaris, evolved from wild seabeet, which is a native of coastlines from India to Britain and is the ancestor of all cultivated forms of beet. Sea beet was first domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East– although it was only the leaves that were eaten at that time.

A few Beetroot facts..

* The red pigment in beetroot is used to colour strawberry jam as well as to improve the colour of tomato paste, sauces and strawberry ice cream.

* Beetroot is a water-soluble dye, and hot water seems to 'fix' the colour stain more, so use lukewarm or cold water to avoid staining. To cure the inevitable 'pink fingers', rub with lemon juice and salt before washing with soap and water. On fabrics, try rubbing a slice of raw pear on the stain before washing, or rinse in cold water before washing in a biological powder.

* Beetroot has one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. Up to 10 per cent of beetroot is sugar, but it is released slowly into the body rather than the sudden rush that results from eating chocolate.

* Beetroot can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port.

Tender baby roots can be grated raw in salads. The Mature beetroot can be boiled or wrapped in foil and baked. I like to roast beetroots in the oven, this makes them nice and mellow and they taste delicious. The beet leaves can also be used too and cooked like spinach.

See my cookbook for recipes ideas using those Beet greens




 Serves 4 as a side dish, great with a juicy steak or a roast beef dinner

8 medium sized, fresh red beetroots- scrubbed and trimmed.
2 tblsp Olive oil
1 tblsp fresh Thyme leaves
Sea Salt & Black pepper

Cut the beetroots into quarters and mix them with the olive oil, thyme leaves and salt & pepper, coating the beets really well. Put into a shallow roasting tin and roast in hot oven for around 40 - 45 minutes until they are nicely charred and tender.

Tip ~ I also like to add some Red Onion - cut into quarters, to the roasting tin with the beets.


There are many recipes for pickling beets, but this is one of my favourites and it tastes delicious! ~ Makes 2 Jars.

1kg Fresh beetroot
100g Granulated sugar
700ml Red wine vinegar
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
10 Peppercorns
4 Red chillies - halved.

Start by washing the beetroot, making sure not to break there skins, trim the tops and remove any leaves. Place in a large pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about an hour until tender.

Drain and allow to cool. Rub the skins off (beetroot will stain your hands, so use gloves if you want to.)Place the vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a pan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.Cut the beetroot into quarters and put into the jars along with 2 chillies per jar. Pour over the hot vinegar spice mix and seal the Jars. Leave the pickle to rest for a week or so before using. So that the beets absorb all those delicious spicy flavours. Once opened keep in fridge and use within 5-7 days. Tastes great in salads and with cold meats.