i love the beets & the beets love me: sauteed beet greens with lime and garlic

I’ve always been a fan of the beet. I love their sugary sweet flavour after they’ve been roasted in the oven and I love how they turn everything on your plate a deep shade of pink. I’ve turned a simple ho-hum hummous into an electric shade of fuchsia just by pureeing a small roasted beet into the chickpea-tahini mix. Even my colourful lunch (leftovers from last night’s meal) turned into a veritable rainbow with the addition of a few baby beets.

For the longest time, I used only the beets but had no idea what to do with the leaves…so into the compost bucket they went. However, emboldened by an article about eating what I was throwing away, I steamed them up and served them with a bit of butter. Amazing! Tangier and bolder than spinach, they were much more “meatier” than I expected and a hundred times more delicious. Similar in taste to kale, I quickly became a beet green convert and tried to get others into the fold. However, when it comes to beets and their greens, there aren’t very many willing converts. When I’d wax poetically about the red root, people wouldn’t hear it. Instead, they’d tell me all kinds of horror stories about how their mothers would force feed them beets until all their bodily fluids would turn red from the trauma. Hmph! Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re missing.

19 comments to “i love the beets & the beets love me: sauteed beet greens with lime and garlic”

  1. 1
    Rachel   October 13, 2006 at 5:35 am

    I love beets and beet greens!

  2. 2
    Alanna   October 13, 2006 at 5:37 am

    I’m a big fan of beets AND beet greens, too!! (My aunt from Winnipeg always says, you’ve got ANOTHER way to eat beets?) But the greens often go to waste because I just don’t get to them in time. Then I discovered Greek Greens which adds a day or two of holding time.

  3. 3
    Brilynn   October 13, 2006 at 9:11 am

    I grow beets in my garden and use the whole thing. Their only downfall is that along with turning your food a lovely pink shade, they also turn your hands that colour!

  4. 4
    Sara   October 13, 2006 at 10:30 am

    I’ve always wanted to try beet green bit I’m scared. This sounds good though. I would try this.

  5. 5
    Maven   October 13, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    One of my favorite ways to use the whole beet is to cut off and sautee the greens, roast the beets, make some risotto with gorgonzola, and add the sauteed greens and roasted beets at the end. Sooooo delicious, and electric pink. I like to use golden beets too, though. They are beautiful.

  6. 6
    megan   October 13, 2006 at 8:49 am

    i have to admit that i’m still a wee bit afraid of beets in general. i love kale though . . . and chard . . . so maybe it’s time!

  7. 7
    Ellen   October 13, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    I admit to being partial to pickled beets. But even non-pickled ones are good. My youngest loves roasted beets and got disgusted when I tried to pass off some canned ones at the table one night in the interest of time. I do try to cook the greens as well, but don’t always get to them.

  8. 8
    Lisa Braithwaite   October 14, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Sometimes, people who don’t like red beets can tolerate golden beets. That’s how I got the hubby to eat them. Best roasted with maple syrup and mustard, and also a recipe from “Mangoes and Curry Leaves” called “Beets with Tropical Flavors” which involves curry leaves, coconut milk, shallots, chiles, vinegar and sugar. Best beets EVER! I’ve yet to try beet greens, though, and I’m going to have to make the move.

  9. 9
    The Overworked Barista   October 14, 2006 at 11:48 am


    I haven’t commented on anything here in a while, but I just wanted to say that I finally started a food blog and added your link (you were one of the first I frequented)

    It isn’t as pretty as yours but I’m new to all this Blog-editing and such.



    …and PUMPKIN PIE RULES *random*

  10. 10
    Joanne   October 14, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    Having a Meditteranean background, the only way my mom would serve beet salad was with olive oil and vinegar and salt…greens and all.

    She always served beets with grilled fish and a garlic/potato puree over the fish, which still had it’s head and tail intact. I was not a happy camper as a seven year old! I can still visualize the fish meat turning pink from the beets… 😀

    Nowadays, the only way I am willing to eat beets is the way I remember them as a child, with kick-ass olive oil, some garlic and some kind of citrus squeeze – lemon, lime, maybe even orange…but that’s all. I’m a purist, I guess…

    Thanks for this great recipe. It’s good to see that you also like beets a la Mom.

  11. 11
    Judy   October 15, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    You have not diapointed again! I love to come and drool over the pictures so much!! I think I’ll pass on the beets, but the pasta is a must try!!

  12. 12
    kickpleat   October 15, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    of course you do, rachel! you’ve got great taste 😉

    ooh, ak, i like the looks of that recipe! yum.

    megan, give it a try. it’s so similar to red kale!

    brilynn, true about red hands, but i don’t mind!

    sara, totally give them a go. you might be surprised at how good they are. i totally was!

    mmmm, maven, that sounds awesome. i love creamy risotto and a pink would would be fantastic!

    ellen, i too love pickled beets!

    lisa, i’ve never had golden beets and i really want to give them a try.

    welcome back, barista! congrats on your new blog and i agree whole heartedly about pumpkin pie.

    joanne, i think i’d love your mom’s salad!

    thanks judy! the pasta is a great recipe for sure, but give beets a chance 😉

  13. 13
    michelle   October 15, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    hi there! i’ve never been a beet fan, but you make this look so good. if the leafy green part is similar to kale or spinach, i’d definitely love to give this a try.
    PS: i miss your updates out at d-lnd. in fact, i miss a lot of my favorites who used to write there regularly. anyway, hope full time work is going well, and that you still find time to cook all sorts of good looking things. 🙂

  14. 14
    Karina   October 15, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    What gorgeous color! I’m not a fan of beets, actually, but the greens look delicious [they remind me of Swiss chard].

  15. 15
    Mr. Turner   October 21, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I love beets as well! I’ve never though of eating the greens before. I’ll have to give that a shot!

  16. 16
    Pille   October 25, 2006 at 1:02 am

    Same here, I love beets (and have posted several beetroot recipes on my blog), but I haven’t cooked with beet greens before. Must. Soon.

  17. 17
    SuperDewa   October 31, 2006 at 10:53 am

    I also like a salad of cold cooked (preferably roasted) beats and their greens. I like it with olive oil or a good nut oil, a tasty vinegar, and feta or goat cheese sprinkled on top.

  18. 18
    Pille   August 20, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I’m a huge fan of beetroot, so it’s great to find yet another beetroot recipe!

  19. 19
    MollyB   March 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    My first post on your beautiful site! I just had to say: you’ve converted me! I’ve always loved beets but just never got around to the greens because they always looked…stingy. Well, tonight was the night. I changed mine up for lack of lime and instead used sesame oil and some seeds. So good! Thanks for the inspiration!

Leave a comment