Beet Greens and Goat Cheese Crostini- Eat your greens

by on February 25, 2010

Our biggest apologies to all you friends who are still frozen under snow or drenched with rain. This post isn’t to gloat about our wonderful sunshine and blue skies, but rather, it’s about reminding you to enjoy eating your beet greens. Although, it doesn’t hurt to brag about our warm weather to you all cause it could warm-up you cold weather folks a bit! (but if you’re an outstanding tele-skier like Jen Yu, then you’ll want to be buried under snow!)

When spring arrives (like right now for us), or soon to arrive, the joys of consuming spring greens and tender vegetables are sure signs to celebrate the season. Our garden is dotted with tender, teeny-weeny beet roots right now and during this stage of growth, we don’t wait for the beets to get bigger. There’s plenty more beets roots to be left alone to grow, but for now, all the tender stuff is harvested for the beet greens!

Beet greens sauteed in simple olive oil, or tossed in a crisp green salad are just a few great recipe ideas for keeping you from tossing away these valuable tops. Unfortunately, some of the beet greens in grocery stores can be too tough and fibrous, so you’ll have to blanch them in hot water first. Or if you’re going to use the beet greens in a salad, you might have to remove the center, tougher ribs of the leaves and just eat the outer leaves.

But when spring comes, normally beet greens sold at farmers markets are tender and completely edible! Better yet, if you have the garden room or a big pot and the patience to wait a few weeks, you can harvest your own tender beet greens! Growing them yourself is surely the way to enjoy eating from garden to table this spring.

Our garden is plentiful with baby beet roots and tender greens because we’ve been fortunate to get an abundance of rain this year, followed by gorgeous days of warm sunshine. The beets are stretching their limbs and leaves out of the soil faster than we an keep up with them. Two years ago we made a fabulous batch of beet root ice cream, something everyone must try at least once.

Simple goat cheese and beet green salad is normally what we always prepare with our first harvest of the year, but today, we decided to change it up a bit and make a wonderful little appetizer.

Toasted bread, with a generous swipe of goat cheese, topped with some simple balsamic roasted beet roots and fresh beet greens is what we’re talking about today! It’s easy, superbly fresh and simply spring. Need we say more?

Eat your beet greens,

Diane and Todd

layer your crostini to your liking, but try a very thin slice of fresh lemon, awesome!

Balsamic Beet Greens & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipe

Yield: Serves 2-3.

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

The best part of this recipe is that you can use the whole part of the beet root, including stems and leaves.  Tender beet greens can be eaten raw or cooked if the greens are tougher.


  • about 2-3 medium Beets w/ Greens still on
  • 1 Baguette, sliced thin (about 20 pieces), toasted in pan or oven
  • about 6 oz pkg Goat Cheese
  • 1 t fresh Lemon Juice or Lemon Zest
  • very thin slices of fresh Lemons (optional)
  • 1/2 t Sea Salt
  • 1 t Balsamic Vinegar, or more if needed
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper


  1. If roasting beet root: Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Wash beets, trimming greens @1" above top of beet. Put beets in a baking dish large enough to lay beets in a single layer. Add 1/4" of water to dish, cover with aluminum foil and put in oven. (If you want a bit more tang, coat beets with some balsamic vinegar while roasting.) Roast until cooked through, 30 min - 1 hr, depending on size of beets.  Test doneness by feeling the resistance of a toothpick when poked into beet. Remove from oven to cool.
  2. After beets have cooled, rub off outer skin, then slice or dice to your preferred serving size. If you want to serve warm, quickly saute beets with a little olive oil or butter until heated.  Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. (Other serving options: saute some crushed garlic until lightly cooked then saute beets together; finish sauteed beets with a little balsamic vinegar; add some fresh chopped herbs when sauteeing beets-mint, basil, tarragon, etc; add a bit of fresh lemon or tangerine zest after sauteing beets.)
  3. For cooking the greens: Wash and cut leaves and stems.  Heat water to boil in a medium pot. Add stems and leaves to boiling water and quickly blanche them. Taste a piece of stem and leaves until they are blanched to your liking. Quickly  drain greens and rinse with cold water. Add greens to bowl, squeeze out excess water, then add balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.
  4. In bowl, combine goat cheese, fresh lemon juice and fresh cracked black pepper. Combine well.
  5. Spread goat cheese on crostini (toasted baguette slices) with goat cheese, thin layer of lemon sliced, thin slices of roasted beets and beet green greens (cooked or raw).
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet February 25, 2010 at 9:02 am

Oh dear…I am so drooling over that crostini. Looks fabulous.


2 Emily February 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

Mm that picture is making me drool. I can’t wait for it to warm up around here and for the Farmer’s Market to start carrying fresh greens and veggies again. Its one of the things I dread about winter around here.


3 White on Rice Couple February 25, 2010 at 9:53 am

Emily- hope your weather warms up soon so you can finally get your fresh greens again!


4 Maria February 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

The beet greens are my favorite part. The crostini looks outstanding.


5 LoveFeast Table February 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

Thanks for the much needed reminder that spring is around the corner!!


6 Estela @ Weekly bite February 25, 2010 at 9:13 am

You had me at goat cheese! These look incredible!!


7 Hilda February 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

Beet greens are the best, and so few people eat them! I love every component of this and I especially love that you include slices of lemon too. Lemon goes on just about everything. You styled it beautifully too. Can’t wait until we get to LA and I can join you guys for a photography workshop.


8 White on Rice Couple February 25, 2010 at 9:54 am

Hilda- look forward to seeing you at one of our photography workshops too! We have 3 planned, starting in April 2010.


9 ravenouscouple February 25, 2010 at 9:45 am

the first image looks like belongs on a cover of a food magazine!


10 Katie @ goodLife {eats} February 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

Spring is totally teasing us. Our rhubarb and bulbs have started sprouting. We had a week of sun shine and beautiful weather last week, but now we are back to cold, windy, gray skies. I have snow peas getting started inside since it’s so windy right now they’d snap right in half. This looks delicious! I will have to give beets a try in the garden sometime.


11 White on Rice Couple February 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Katie- definitely try growing beets. They grow so fast and as soon as the greens come up, you can have a great tender salad.


12 Nicole Spasiano February 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

awww this makes me happy. I’ve been living in fog for the past few days and will have to for a few more. knowing that spring is coming (some day!) is making things better.


13 Sara February 25, 2010 at 11:29 am

What a excellent reminder! Even chard greens are delicous. Did you use any lemon juice on the goat cheese or just use a thin slice of lemon? My husband roasted some potoates the other night with lemon zest. Amazing. I think lemons are making a comeback!


14 White on Rice Couple February 26, 2010 at 7:30 am

Sara- we used some lemon juice in the goat cheese and a thin slice of lemon for the final assembly. We love lemons, but you can do both or just one.


15 The Duo Dishes February 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

The best thing is all the colors–bright red, green, yellow, white. So refreshing!


16 SMITH BITES February 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I get so excited when a new post from you guys shows up in my reader!!! Love beets period but the greens and goat cheese are a match made in heaven – nice touch w/the lemon! And could you please send some of those warm temps and blue skies to the midwest??? OMG has it been a llooooonnnngggggg winter!


17 Christine @ Fresh Local and Best February 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

White powder is piling up on my deck! Reading this post is a sunny reminder that warmer days are coming. I love baby beets!


18 Sasa February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Using everything up is always a great feeling too – I hate wasting anything.


19 Bhavana February 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm

We are buried under snow here in Maryland – but this post makes me want to at least start planning my vegetable garden.

thanks :)


20 Divina February 26, 2010 at 4:58 am

Wow, beautiful combination of flavors. Awesome presentation.


21 bunkycooks February 26, 2010 at 7:25 am

Beautiful pictures. I always eat the beets and toss the greens because they are bitter. I need to give them another try! Lovely mix of ingredients!


22 Ed Schenk February 26, 2010 at 7:42 am

I like to work with crostini. This topping would be a new direction for me but it sounds good.


23 Jac February 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Add my name to the list of droolers… :D

The lemon slice is just brilliant.


24 Hannah February 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I LOVE crostini, and this one looks perfect. Beautiful photos, as always!


25 Rebecca February 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I never knew you could eat the greens raw! Though I would eat just about anything with the goat cheese factor. Stunning photos, just scrummy!


26 White on Rice Couple February 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Rebecca- yes! you can definitely eat the raw, although the older they get , the tougher they become. That’s why you should blanche older, tougher leaves.


27 arugulove February 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Looks fantastic! Thanks for the idea!


28 s. stockwell February 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Just need to check in with you…you never disappoint. best from Jefferson’s Table


29 Mélanie February 27, 2010 at 10:45 am

This looks absolutely delicious. Usually in France we can buy cooked beets, but it’s more difficult to find them raw. and I’ve never seen the greens……. I might have to grow them in a garden then!


30 White on Rice Couple February 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Melanie- really? it’s that difficult to find the raw? Well then, it’s a great time to start your beet garden!


31 Kate Manchester March 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Hi Guys -
I hope you don’t get this twice, my computer froze and I am resending!! I am working on my spring Cooking Fresh column, and I am using recipes from my favorite blogs. I would love to post this recipe with a photo if you are willing – the theme is spring, and I have three other bloggers, we will have 6 recipes in all. We will give credits, blog name, web address etc.. Congratulations on the Saveur nomination – you got my vote!!!
Best -


32 moowiesqrd March 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Gorgeous photos! I love beet greens and they’re totally underrated. Can’t wait to try the crostini!


33 Kristin Conroy March 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Diane and Todd, thanks for posting this! I’ve always felt so guilty throwing away beet tops, but they usually look pretty tough. Now I know I can blanch them and remove the center before using. Once the farmers’ markets start up again, I’ll be on the lookout for the tender beet greens…so pumped to try this recipe. Love the slice of lemon on there too! Gorgeous photography as always, the brightness and white background perfectly highlight the vibrant colors of the food.


34 Hannah Valentine March 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I fell in love with beet greens last summer; having always loved beets, I felt horrible that I’d always just thrown them away before. One of my favorite this to do is a quick blanch (I rarely get those tender baby greens) and follow up with a quick saute in olive oil, salt and pepper as a side dish. SO good.

I signed up for a CSA share this year, and this just makes me crave those veggies all the more, since it doesn’t start up until May!


35 Liam O'Malley March 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Oh this is too perfect. I have a batch of beet greens from the CSA that I haven’t known what to do with, and just about enough homemade goat cheese left to make these. Thanks for the post!


36 ziegen kaufen April 2, 2010 at 5:03 am

I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.


37 Justin June 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

A great idea for a green that does get overlooked. Its perfect and Im making it tommorow


38 Ann Allchin April 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Thanks for a fantastic recipe! I never would have used whole lemon slices, but they’re fantastic. I showcased this recipe on my blog where I try to cook with uncommon ingredients ( Check it out! Your photography is fantastic.


39 Jenn July 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

This is a great post, and I absolutely love goat cheese! What kind of goat cheese did you use for this recipe? I’m always looking for good ones to try!


40 White on Rice Couple July 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Thanks Jenn. We are always changing up the goat cheeses we buy. Just depends where we are at when we get the craving. There are some nice ones at our local farmer’s market and at the stores we’ll often buy Silver Goat brand as well as a couple other we just know by sight and can’t recall the name.


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