roasted beet greens

I know what you’re thinking. There’s nothing sexy about beet greens. I mean, getting most people to eat beets alone is a tough sell. I didn’t taste my first one until well into my 20s. Beets were not a part of my family’s food comfort zone growing up. Beets are sassy, and in your face. I can relate to beets in this respect. They’re earthiness requires some taming.

And beet greens? Well, they’re a bitter pill to swallow. When I wrote Homemade with Love, I wanted to include a recipe showing that beet greens can be veggie rockstars if coaxed a bit. That recipe is prepared on the stove top; quick and easy enough, but still more time than I had available on one particularly busy day of recipe testing.

I was developing a recipe for beet carpaccio for my current work project, but didn’t want the greens to go to waste. I knew if I didn’t so something with them then and there that they’d linger in the fridge, destined for a wasteful demise. The oven was already on for another recipe, so I figured let’s give roasting them a try. I’m sure roasting leafy greens isn’t something new to at least a few of you. For me, though, sauteeing them on the stove top has always been my go-to (with the exception of a braised recipe, akin to creamed beet greens; I’ll share that one soon).

All it took was a toss with some olive oil, a few splashes of soy sauce, and some maple syrup to render them addictive in less than 10 minutes. Yes, addictive. Beet greens. Go figure. I hungrily devoured them after snapping a few shots, my only regret being that I didn’t have some steaming rice to soak up the resulting pan juices.

Six Years Ago: Peach Raspberry Tart

Five Years Ago: 10-Minute Lentil Soup

Four Years Ago: Cherry Slushies

Three Years Ago: Fairytales for Grown Ups {eggplant parmesan}

Two Years Ago: Day 742

One Year Ago: A Clean Slate {easy banana bread}

Roasted Beet Greens |

Roasted Beet Greens

Serves one

Music Pairing: Smile Big by The Leftover Cuties

You’ll see this isn’t much of a recipe. It’s flexible, much the way my everyday cooking habits tend to be. My work life is based on structure at the stove, recording every little detail. When I’m cooking on instinct it’s quite a freeing experience. That’s where I’d love to see everyone to get to one day. Feel free to give this a try with collard greens, too. And if you have some bacon grease lying around, trying swapping that in for some of the oil. I must remember to try this myself next time.

Green tops from one head of beets

Olive oil, few glugs

Few splashes of shoyu soy sauce

Maple syrup, to taste

Generous pinch of sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Remove the tough center ribs if they’re very thick from the beet greens (thin ones will cook down fine enough). If you’re doubling or tripling this recipe, then you might have enough ribs to pickle. I’ve never done this, but think it’s worth trying out. I’ve been meaning to do it with kale ribs for forever.

But I digress…

Now that you’ve got the beet greens all prepped, add them to a roasting pan. Add a few glugs of olive oil, enough to really coat the greens. You want them to wilt, and not crisp up like kale chips. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, and salt. Rub it all together with your fingers.

Roast for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. These will wilt down a lot, hence one large leafy head only being enough to serve one hungry mama. Next time I can see tossing these with some cooked rice noodles, or serving over a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.


  • kathy

    For thanksgiving about four yrs ago my step daughter insisted on making this horrific time consuming all hands on deck (there were 4 of us) beet top thing. First of all I had to run around to several farmers markets weeks in advance to get enough beet tops as per her request (she wasn’t in town yet) .
    We made a huge roaster full. First we saved the stems to steam. Stuffed the uncooked leaves with a couscous concoction very heavy on garlic onions and I forget what that now. Then each bundle was tied up like a pkg with the beet stem. These pkgs were piled up about three deep. A pot of full cream more garlic and again forget what else might have been in the cream. Anyway this cream was poured over the bundles, squished down then in the oven. Or course we had to roast the actual beets on the BBQ while the casserole was in the oven as another side for the meal.
    Anyway everyone (prob 30+ relatives) all looked at the casserole on the buffet with skeptical eyes “I hate beet greens) but it was the first thing gone. In fact I had to steal a bundle off someone’s plate that kept getting seconds and thirds.. I only had one.
    My mother a couple weeks later when she was back home and making a family dinner One upped us by simplifying the whole process making it like lasagna… It also was a hit.
    Sorry this is so long

  • Lea

    I love dark leafy greens – green smoothies, “massaged” raw salad, steamed, braised…etc – they are my jam. Now this?! This sounds delicious. And quite greedily I’m glad this makes enough for one hungry woman. Before I spring it on the family, I’m making this today for lunch just for me. Yum! Thanks for this recipe. (Would love Kathy’s beet greens and couscous recipe, too;)