Steamed Baby Beets & Greens

Friday 18 June 2021

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 

 I have a true confession to make here. I adore beets, or beetroot as it is also known in the UK.  I love them steamed, roasted pickled, raw in salads, etc.  I also love the greens.

Beet greens were always an early summer treat when I was growing up, and on into adulthood. They still are, even if I no longer grow my own beets.  You get them commonly when you are thinning out the beets in your garden, or when farmers are thinning out theirs.

They are young immature beets, with the greens attached, and oh so delicious.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
If I am lucky enough to come across beet greens in the local farm market or the grocery store, I snap them up!  There is nothing tastier to me, especially if the greens still have the baby beetroot attached.

Admittedly beet are much more popular than their greens, and I am not sure why that is.  For me, the greens are every bit as desirable as the beets themselves. 

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
You may not think you would ever enjoy them, or that you have never eaten them, but if you are a fan of mixed baby leaf salads, I will guarantee that you have.  And raw, not cooked.

Those dark green leaves with purple/red veins and stems . . .  those are baby beet greens.  Delicious in a salad!

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 

The leaves of the beetroot actually contain far more nutrients than the beets themselves.  Primarily a source of carbohydrate (in the main, fiber) the leaves contain an abundance of essential nutrients.

It is a well known fact that the darker green the vegetable is that you are eating the healthier it is for you. They are filled with vitamin C and anti-oxidents, which we all need to be eating plenty of.  They actually contain roughly a third of your daily requirements of Vitamin C.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
They also contain large amounts of nitrates. Nitrates convert to nitric oxide in the body, which actually helps vascular smooth muscle cells to relax.  In short they help widen your blood vessels and help lower your blood pressure.

I'm all for that!

Among the most fiber rich vegetables, they are filled with iron.  Low in calories, nutrient dense, filled with fiber.  Great for your heart health, lowering the cholesterol, Beet greens are super foods of nutrition!  We all need to be eating more of these things!

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
If I have only one negative thing to say about beets and beet greens it is this. They can be sandy and gritty, but so can any green.

You really need to wash them well. I start by putting them into a clean sink filled with cold water and really give them a good swish around.  Then I leave them to sit for a few minutes.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
This allows for most of the sand and grit to settle in the bottom of the sink.  Lift the greens out and drain the sink, rinsing any grit down the drain.

Now rinse your beets and greens a few more times under cold running water. At this point your beets and greens should be well and truly clean and grit free.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens 
Once you've done that you want to trim  away any inedible bits from the ends of any beets still attached to the greens. There is no need to peel the attached beets if they are really small.  I don't peel them unless they are larger. 

If they are a bit larger, then you can also cut them in half lengthwise as you can see I have done to a few from my photographs. 

Cooking them is as simple as heating a bit of oil and lemon juice in a large skillet.  I like to add some chopped spring onions and a nice sprig of dill weed, along with a bit of seasoning.  Sometimes I will add a few chili flakes, but not always. 

Heat this up and then layer the beets and leaves in the pan, coiling them around the circumference of the pan and layering them up.  Pop on a tight fitting lid and steam away. I check them after five minutes.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens

Especially if there are a few larger beets in the mix.  Once the tip of a knife goes in easily they are done.  And that's it.

I toss them with a nice knob of cold butter, letting that butter melt down into the leaves and coating the beets, along with a bit of sea salt to taste and cracked black pepper and voila!  

Mom never got so fancy as to add lemon juice to her beet greens. She used white vinegar and many still do today.  Lemon juice is just a tiny bit more exotic and tastier. Not quite as acidic I find.

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens is a tasty side dish that is not only really good for you, but delicious as well!  When your mama said to eat your greens, she wasn't kidding.  Eating your greens is plenty good for you!  I guarantee!


Steamed Baby Beets & Greens

Steamed Baby Beets & Greens

Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min
A delicious way to use up some of the thinnings from your garden. Baby beets steamed in a mix of lemon and herbs along with their tender greens.


  • a dozen baby beets with greens attached (cut larger ones in half lengthwise, leaving them attached to the greens)
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1 spring onion, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large sprig of dill weed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • a knob of butter to serve


  1. You need to make sure you wash the beet and their greens really well. I do this in cold water, first soaking them, draining and rinsing, and then rinsing them under cold water several more times.
  2. Trim off any inedible portions of the beets, no need to peel, and discard. Cut any larger beets in half lengthwise and then just pull the greens apart so that you have two smaller bunches. 
  3. Have ready a large deep skillet.  Add the oil, lemon juice, onion, sprig of dill weed and some seasoning. (Sometimes I add a few chili flakes.)  Bring to the boil over medium heat.
  4. Place the beets with the leaves still attached into the pan, coiling them around until they fit. Cover tightly with a lid.
  5. Steam over medium heat until tender.  I check after five minutes or so. Just poke the tip of a sharp knife into one of the larger beets. If it meets little resistance, they are done, otherwise cook for a while longer until the beets are completely tender.
  6. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add a knob of butter and toss to melt the butter. Serve hot.
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Steamed Baby Beets & Greens
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  1. Oh yum! In taste, the leaves remind me a lot of Swiss chard, which I also grow and love.

    I always ate my greens as a kid and could never understand people turning their noses up at them. I came from a very large, poor family and a lot of what we ate was grown in the garden. My grandmother and mother toiled there and we always had plenty of food on our plate - not fancy food, but filling, nourishing food. Everything was finished, everything was enjoyed.

  2. Just don't let them cook dry, my mom did that one time and whew, what a stink! LOL Much love - Raquel XO

  3. Hello Marie, I have found that all of your recipes now have part of the content annoyingly obliterated by an advertisement, which covers a large chunk of the ingredients! I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of it but it stubbornly stays put! Maybe it's just my computer.....I know little about how these things work and don't have a handy twelve year old to ask!!
    However, all is not lost! I have worked out that if I pass my cursor over the text and do a "cut and paste" into a word document, the text appears without the ad on top of it! That's a relief!!

  4. This does sound yummy...I do like beets...and though I have problems eating greens, these look a great deal like swiss chard which I have learned to flavor with a tad of balsamic vinegar...and then I can eat them just fine!! Thanks for the instructions as to how to prepare these...lemon sounds good too...and of course, a spot of butter eh?
    Elizabeth xoxo

  5. We bought baby beets with greens at our farmers' market, as we had never tried them before. My husband didn't even want to try them as he is not a big greens eater. He said he would only eat the beets. He did try them, though, and said they were pretty good. High praise coming from him. I thought they were absolutely delicious, and would happily cook them again soon. Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! All your recipes are easy to follow and always look so appetizing.


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