I always thought that I hated beets. It took me most of my young adulthood to realize that I hated the way my mother always served them to me, cold and from a can. Beets are one of my favorite and one of the most versatile ingredients in my kitchen, they are delicious raw or cooked, can be added to juices, baked into cakes or simply roasted with a little olive oil. Most people discard their beet greens but it’s one of my favorite parts of the vegetable. When it comes to beets I like to use the whole thing, the greens, the stems and the root. Here I’ve roasted the beets and sautéd the stems and leaves, and layered them on top of quinoa. The yogurt tahini dressing is tangy, pungent and one of my very favorite dressings. If you mix all the ingredients together in the bowl it will turn the most delightful shade of pink you have ever seen. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I think I”ll call this my bleeding hearts beet bowl.
Beet, quinoa and tahini bowl
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 pounds red and yellow beets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the beets, trim off the leafy tops and set aside. Place the beets on top of a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle the olive oil over the tops and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the beets tightly in the foil and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the beets until tender and can be easily pierced with a knife about an hour. Let cool slightly and then using your fingers or a small paring knife peel the skins off the beets.
Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Cut the beet stems into small pieces and add to the oil, cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Slice the beet greens into ribbons and then add them to the pan along with the stems and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the greens are wilted.
In a blender place all the ingredients for the dressing and process to combine, taste and add more salt or pepper if desired.
Divide the quinoa, beet greens and beets among four bowls. Top with a tablespoon or two of the tahini sauce and top with the fresh mint.