Boiled Beetroot, Stems and Greens

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July 9, 2016 by dgarnett2013

Boiled Beetroot, Stems and Greens: A Girl and her Greens by April Bloomfield


Serves 4 – 6 as a side

  • 20 or so golf-ball-size baby beetroots, with healthy greens
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 or so small thyme sprigs
  • Sea salt
  • 55 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Five-finger pinch of tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tab finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tsps Maldon salt
  • 1 tsp good, thick balsamic vinegar


Trim the beetroot stems to about 1cm, reserving the rest of the stems and leaves.

Leave the beetroot’s spindly roots intact. Cut the stems from the leaves.

Keep the leaves whole and cut the stems into 10cm lengths. You should have about 60g of stems and 3 large handfuls of leaves.

Pour 5cm of water into a medium pot, add the garlic and thyme, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Season with sea salt so it tasted a little less salty than the sea.

Add the beetroot and boil, stirring occasionally and topping off the water if the level drops below the beetroot, until the beetroot is tender but not mushy, about 40 mins.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beetroot to a mixing bowl. Halve any larger beetroot through the stem, if you fancy.

Add the olive oil, tarragon, shallots, Maldon salt and vinegar and have a good stir.

Remove and discard the garlic and thyme from the water.

Add about 700ml of water to the pot, let it return to the boil and add the beetroot stems.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re tender with a slight bite, about 4 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the stems to the bowl with the beetroot.

Add the greens to the water, have a good stir and cook just until they tear easily, about 3 mins. Drain the leaves in a colander, let them cool to the touch and gently squeeze them to remove some of the water they’ve absorbed.

Give the beetroots and stems another good stir, then use your hands to pile them on a plate. Add the greens to the liquid remaining in the mixing bowl, toss well, then transfer them to the plate as well.

Eat immediately.

Made with beetroots from the allotment.


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