7 things to do with beet greens + a recipe

Beet greens are the leaves and stalks attached to beetroots. Have you ever eaten them? In case you didn’t know, they’re edible, delicious and nutritious!

Because beetroots are mostly sold in the supermarket without their leaves attached, many don’t know that these gorgeous leaves can be eaten and are highly nutritious (since they’re greens!). You are most likely to find beet greens (attached to their beets) at organic grocery stores and farmers’ markets. And it’s also an economical way to get some greens (basically they’re ‘free’ when you buy the beets).

About a month ago, I found myself inundated with beet leaves (and beets). I couldn’t resist buying them at the organic store where I shop. They looked so beautiful and fresh – both the beets and the leaves, so I bought a bunch. Then my parents popped by on the weekend and brought me a large bunch from their home garden. (By the way, their home garden is their whole back yard!)

Since beetroot leaves don’t keep fresh for too long after harvesting (up to a week or so), I needed to make something quick smart so I would not waste these gorgeous, luscious leaves. Plus I needed more room in my refrigerator. This got me thinking of different ways to cook up beet leaves. I came up with 7:

  1. use it in a curry with the beets
  2. add it to a frittata, like you would silverbeet
  3. use it instead of spinach in a spinach and fetta pie
  4. juice them (younger beet leaves are best because of lower oxalic acid than older leaves)
  5. eat in a salad (again, younger beet leaves are best)
  6. add it to soups, like you would spinach, kale or silverbeet
  7. just sauté them with some garlic and herbs to have as a side, or try variation I came up with below

Sautéed beet leaves with coconut milk & capers

Serves ~ 3 people, as a side

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 5 cups (~500g) shredded beet leaves & chopped stems
  • 2 tbsp salt-crusted capers
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

In a wide and deep fry pan, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly before adding the beet leaves. Stir continually.

Once the leaves have wilted add the capers and coconut milk. Saute for a couple more minutes, then turn off stove. Season and squeeze over some lemon juice.

(Note: the dish is not meant to be saucy — the milk evaporates off. But if you would like it to be, just add more coconut milk.)

Serve as you would  side of greens — I ate mine with pan-fried fish on one occasion, and with some rice and dhal on another.

What other ways have you used beet greens?

 

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25 Comments on “7 things to do with beet greens + a recipe

  1. In retirement growing more vegies and learning lots of new ways to use them :)

  2. Pingback: easy muesli & beets | Marina Eats

  3. I like them steamed like spinach and served hot or cold with lemon juice and a little olive oil squeezed over. If I have a lot of leaves, I’ll do a big batch and have some hot and the rest cold — like the Greeks do with the mixed leaves dish they call ‘horta’. Delish.

    I also use beetroot leaves and stems in risotto — they make the rice a delicate pink. Just rice, beetroot leaves and snipped up stems, garlic, a little butter and parmesan. It’s simple but yummy.
    And my favorite way to use the beets themselves is to bake them in with the roast dinner.

  4. I recently moved to Sydney from another country. I am not too familiar with the shops in Australia yet. Where perhaps could I find the salt-crusted capers? Would they sell these at Woolies or Coles or do I need to go to a specialty type shop? Thank you very much.

    By the way, I recently found your site and I am loving it a lot. I am really trying to start cooking more and I plan to make a lot of your recipes. Thank you.

    • Hi Serena, you can probably find it in a deli type store. Some IGA supermarkets may have it too. I bought mine in an organic store {the capers were not organic though}. If you cannot find it, capers stored in brine will work just as well. I particularly like this side dish – I hope you do too!

  5. Thanks. I found them at a health food store. I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. My two year old daughter even loved it. Thank you.

  6. I tried your recipe Lesh, with a slight variation, used pickled green olives instead of capers as I did not go to shop them.
    It came out good.
    Thanks for your recipe.

  7. We love the beet greens chopped and sauteed in butter or olive oil, and sprinkled with onion powder and garlic salt, and pepper. I could sit and eat them right from the pan with nothing left for my family! YUMMO!

  8. I cook them with lentils – similar to indian spinach dal recipe – it is good.

  9. I steam them then sauté them in olive oil and garlic and oregano serve with white cannelli beans and
    Of course the steamed beets on the side yum

  10. Googled how to use beet greens as they were so pretty, but I’ve always tossed them. Just sautéed chard as a side and thought that I could possibly do the same with the beet greens. Stumbled across your recipe “Beet Leaves with Coconut Milk and Capers” and am going to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  11. I’m always looking for new and interesting ideas for beet greens. I started out just using them in my juicing regimen, but there is so much more that can be done with them. What a waste for all those people who rip them off of the beets in the supermaket and just leave them sit there.

  12. I just know now that beet green is edible, I will definitely use Lesh recipes. it simple and sound yummy

  13. So fantastic, thank you for sharing this. I bought beetroots the other day, just to try and make beet juice (good for hypertension). I saved the greens, because I didn’t know if they could be used. Now I know I can :D. SO excited to make dinner tomorrow!

  14. Hi Lesh,
    I love your blog and recipes…so nourishing, healthy and yummy!
    I tried the sautéed beetroot greens today (minus the capers, not my thing) and I loved it. Never knew you could eat the greens…
    Thanks for sharing your holistic approach to food :)
    Anna

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