"Beet's concentrated jewel-like color is both its joy and its downfall. It is Murphy's law that it should marry so happily with the virginal white of goat cheeses, mascarpone, and thick puddles of creme fraiche, none of whose looks are improved by a pink stain curdling the outer edge" - Nigel Slater, Tender

I love them for their boldness. For their unmatched flavor and unapologetic way of making everything pink (when using the red ones), like Slater mentions. They are what they are, without reservation, a concept that I've been wrestling with on a personal/career level this past week. I likely sound nutty, but there are lessons to learn in the growing, cooking and serving of food aren't there?

Beet greens are not for the faint at heart. For years I threw them away, not knowing they were perfectly edible. They boast a subtle sweetness, assertive in their vegetable taste and along with that lovely essence of dirt that the whole beet has, leaving no person to waver on liking them or not. The greens beckon the same taste buds, someone who is not afraid of their vegetables tasting of vegetable. They are tough, kind of like swiss chard, but cook down as tender as any green, can wiggle themselves into frittatas or stand up well in a green salad with a bold dressing. I like to chop mine pretty small, and would even go so far to say that I like when they have some time to marinate in the dressing before I dig in, as they have a certain sturdiness to them. This is another one of those salads that can sit in the fridge for a couple days to snack on, take to work, add a protein to, and will travel well. It's not for everyone, and you could use any other salad green if you just want to stick with the roasted beets sans greens. 

BEET GREEN CHOPPED SALAD // Serves 4 as a side

1 bunch of beets, including fresh looking greens

olive oil for cooking

4 scallions, white and light green parts

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1 small avocado, diced

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds


// tahini dressing //

2 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1-2 tsp. agave nectar, depending on desired sweetness

3 Tbsp. water, or as needed

hefty pinch of salt and pepper

1 clove of garlic finely minced

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 450'.

Cut the greens from the beets at their stem. Rub a bit of olive oil on the skin of the beets, sprinkle with salt and wrap them all in a foil pack. Set on the middle oven rack and cook for 45-55 minutes until you can easily piece through with a knife. Set them aside to cool.

While the beets roast, clean and dry the greens. Chop off and discard the long red stems. Chop the greens and put them in a large mixing bowl. 

To prepare the dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, agave and water. Mix in the garlic, hearty pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Add more water if you prefer it thinner. Mix in the chives. Adjust to your taste and set aside. 

Once the beets are cool enough to touch, you should be able to just push the skin off with your fingers. Use a paring knife to help it along. Dice the peeled beets. Thinly slice the scallions. Add the beets, scallions, quinoa and avocado to the mixing bowl and toss with a generous amount of dressing (note: the salad will turn pink from the beets. If this bothers you, you can toss everything without the diced beets, and sprinkle them on top). Sprinkle in the sunflower seeds, give it one more toss.

I prefer mine to sit a few minutes before digging in. Will keep up in the fridge for two days. 

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Reader Comments (45)

This salad looks delicious! I'm definitely making it for lunch sometime soon. Thanks for the recipe!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura {gourmettenyc}

ohmyheavens! this looks DIVINE! the textures...the colors...the i fell in love with beets last year when i got them in my CSA box (after swearing them off as a kid, of course. the slimy beets on salad bars do such an injustice to this fabulous little gem), and i will thankfully never, never look back :o) this is surely on my must-make-asap list - THANK YOU!

as for this week's wrestling, even though i personally think you are completely brilliant, i know that wrestling is necessary & part of the process. it's forming something in you or bubbling something to the surface from deep within that will be a great "a-HA!" moment down the road.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather

The nutty ones are the only kind for me. And the beets? HELLO. You know my thoughts on that.. ;)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

I love beets, but I'm on the fence about the greens, partly because I haven't found a recipe that uses them both. Or, I haven't looked hard enough. Either way, I'm keeping this in mind for future reference. Loving the new look and I hope everything's going swimmingly with the manuscript!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

When I used to work at my dad's local produce market, I would literally PROTEST when customers asked me to take the greens off of the beet bunches for them. Not an awesome customer relations moment for me, but I'm okay with it. So much yums. Thanks for this :)

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Thanks so much for the idea. I love beet greens as greens and in risotto. I am so looking forward to the new beets in the market in a couple of months so I can use them in this salad.. We O.D. on beet greens in the spring.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Written like a true lover of beets. I, too, am amazed by this vegetable. I love that they're dirty jewels. I love their earthy taste. I love this post! I've been eating beets all week in a salad with arugula, chickpeas and radishes. This one looks delish!

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

I do love beets, though cooking with them still intimidates me. I need to work on getting over that!

I really loved this line: "They are what they are, without reservation." Something for all of us to learn from that, eh?

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

Mhhh looks so delicious!
I love Sprouted Kitchen so much!

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlma

I LOVE beets and their greens. Cant get enough. I usually steam a few bunches of beets for the week. Then you have them for salads for a couple days, hold up well in the fridge.This looks lovely.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Franzen

Lovely, friend. Thanks for the chat yesterday. I am so proud of you and the incredible work you and Hugh produce. Here's to being more like beet greens - bold and not apologizing for where we fell led.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I can't wait to make this, it looks so amazing. I imagine this is one of those things that I'll eat for lunch for 3 or 4 days in a row and still look forward to every afternoon :)

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanine

Oh, this looks really yummy! I love roasted beets (I actually just posted a recipe for a salad with roasted beets on my blog the other day), but I never thought to use the beet greens raw in the salad too. Your recipe looks like a nice way to incorporate them such that the greens complement, but don't overpower, the rest of the ingredients. I'll have to give it a try.... :)

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

That beets photo is so dramatic--it's amazing!

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterimma

I'm the only beet lover in my house. This looks out of the world. I hope it saves!

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan

i almost always cook my beet greens; not sure why. This sounds like a delicious use of great ingredients. I was also astonished when I learned how yummy beet greens are! as a kid, my mom always grown them in our garden, and I'm amazed to think of how many unfortunate beet greens were never eaten....

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

How is it possible that you made food photography look like fine art? You are amazing. I am in awe. And needless to say this recipe is awesome, I freaking LOVE beets!

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKammie @ Sensual Appeal

Mmm... This sounds amazing! At my house we don't eat beet greens because they are high in oxalates - and my partner suffers from calcium oxalate kidney stones- but we'll substitute another green! (They're all so plentiful right now!) Thanks for sharing.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDori

I love the colors of the beets in this one. And it's nice to see a beet salad that doesn't involve goat cheese for once ;)

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

What a pretty dish! I can't wait to make this when beets come into season in Minnesota!

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ Fig & Fork

This looks divine, and aren't beets just the most stunning vegetables?! So beautiful!

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNutrition by Nature

How can you wait a few minutes before digging in? I wouldn't be able to resist.

Absolutely stunning and hearty looking salad - and I love the tahini dressing too - wonderful! I always love a way to use up the greens with the beets too. Simple, sophisticated and gorgeous!

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShira

always, again...wonderful and pretty simple (!)

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpierre

Oh, yum! This salad looks amazing. I came a little late to the beet greens camp, but now I'm happily sold on eating all of the beets and greens! Looking forward to trying out the recipe.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

Made it. Loved it. Could probably eat my weight in this salad.

My beets didn't have greens, so I used chopped spinach & parsley instead.

Thank you, Sprouted Kitchen!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

I love anything that has both beets and beet greens. Delish! And I have to tell you how stunning the cover photo is on your upcoming book. Congrats!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentererin @ yummy supper

I love beet greens as well yet have never paired them with quinoa. Cannot wait to try this hearty take on the salad this summer.

April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah B-C

don't like beets, but have them growing in my garden for the first time this year. I will be liking them soon. Why am I drawn to your website? the pictures!!!! BEAUTIFUL! and the simplicity of your site. The recipes I haven't tried yet, but they inspire me. Keep up the good work

April 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaritza

that top picture. that is it!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterally

Beet green stems, like chard stems, can be consumed and really are quite delicious, benefiting from a quick saute to take down the crunchiness to a manageable level. I do love the beet greens, and often roam the farmers markets keeping an eye on the trucks parked in a perfect line behind the tables, to see if beet growers have a stock of greens on hand, removed from a purchase by someone less informed about their delicious nature. They will heap these forlorn and forgotten greens on anyone willing to take them home. It's win-win for all of us.

I'm loving the salads on your site, as they're giving me a lot to look forward to in the eats department. Thanks for such wonderful inspiration.

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I roasted enough beets to make two batches of this last week -- yum. It keeps/travels well, great for lunches. I can't wait to make this for a friend's birthday picnic in a couple of weeks! Loved the sweet tahini dressing, might try it out on other salads... Thank you so much for this one!

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Thank you for this! I am always looking for something to do with beet greens. Having never found anything great, I've only tried mixing them in with sauteed chard and/or kale, but this looks much more interesting! Can't wait to give it a try.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternerds in the kitchen

This looks fabulous!!! My new craving for sure! Love "lovely essence of dirt" food. :)

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMillie

I made this gorgeous yummy salad over easter weekend! It was a hit. My girlfriend who is a VERY picky eater actually ate it and loved it!
Will be making this salad again. A great way to enjoy beets.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Whalen

I just love the look and feel of your website! And the pictures too!

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This looks so amazing! I've never known what to do with the beet greens, I can't wait to try this recipe out!

When canning beets I save the greens, packaging them in small freezer bags. Amazing how often they are the perfect add to soups, lasagna, stir fries and anything else that could benefit from a touch of green.

June 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterP. stimpnadi

This salad is so good with fresh farmers market produce, I could just die.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAimi

Totally trying this salad out this week! Yum! I can't wait. :D

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I found this when I was trying to figure out if it was ok to eat beet greens. Then I made it, and it was heavenly until it was gone, much too soon.

I'll be back frequently, thanks!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Gill

I make this salad about every other week with the beets from my farmer's market. I know there are many other ways to eat beats but this is my favorite way to introduce my friends to them. I can't tell you how many people have converted from beet haters to lovers as a result of this salad. I love the tahini dressing and this method of roasting the beets. The only modification I routinely make is to replace the sunflower seeds with pistachios because a) they are amazing and b) their flavor is the perfect compliment to a beet. I also like my green to beet ratio a little more on the green side so I'll often add spinach, arugula, or kale.

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess

Oh my gosh, I just made this and it is so good! I left out the quinoa, added some red cabbage and kale and used a 7 Seed Crust blend from Vgourmet in place of the sesame seeds.

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I just made this tonight and served with a roast chicken and some fresh bread from Whole Foods- it was absolutely delicious. My dad said it was exceptional. :)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTess

That was awesome! Used store-bought Italian, and added some dried cherries. Delish!

July 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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