Healthy, Traditional Greek Beets

Beets. Photo by Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The winter can be a tough time for those looking to eat healthy. With fattening holiday leftovers gone and forgotten, now is the time to add some delicious seasonal vegetables to your meals. Boosting your intake of anti-oxidants, vitamins, fiber, and nutrients with hearty winter vegetables is the way to go. Beets are a treat this time of year. As a side dish, their natural sweetness brightens up most winter meals. Make sure to enjoy the stems and tasty beet greens as well.

Traditional Greek Beets

  • 4-5 medium-sized beets with leaves attached
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Greek sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the beets by washing thoroughly in cool water. Cut off the stems from the beets and then the leaves from the stems and set aside. Cut the top and bottoms of the beets so they have two flat sides. Bring a large, deep pot of water to a boil over medium high heat and add the washed and trimmed beets. Allow the beets to boil until tender. A skewer or fork should pierce them easily. Remove the beets from the boiling liquid and add the stems and continue boiling until tender. Remove the stems and add the leaves. The leaves take just seconds to wilt in the boiling liquid, so don’t walk away from the pot at this point. If unsure about the doneness of the beet greens, taste one. Switch off the heat and use tongs to remove the beet greens from the boiling liquid. Allow the cooked beets to cool slightly before peeling. Slice the beets into one-inch pieces and place in a serving bowl. Add the cooked stems and beet greens. If preferred, cut the cooked stems and beet greens into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped fresh dill. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve immediately warm or at room temperature. Adjust the seasoning or amount of vinegar as needed. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator, the beets taste great even the next day. Serve the beets as side dish with legumes or roasted meats.