Beets and Their Greens with Marjoram and Pine Nuts Recipe | PBS Food

Beets and Their Greens with Marjoram and Pine Nuts

by Chef Deborah Madison Salad of golden beets and red onions with marjoram sauce


Yield: Makes 4 servings



  • 2 small red onions thinly sliced in rounds
  • White wine vinegar
  • 8 to 12 small beets golden and/or Chioggia, including the greens
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Marjoram Pesto with Capers and Olives


  1. Toss the onions with vinegar nearly to cover and refrigerate until needed. They will turn bright pink. Discard the beet stems and any leaves that are yellowed or wilted, wash the rest, and steam until tender, about five minutes. Set aside to drain, then chop coarsely. Toss with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt.
  2. Leaving an inch of the stems and the tails on the beets, steam until a knife pierces them easily, about 25 minutes. Slip off the skins. Trim the tops and tails, quarter them, and sprinkle with a little of the vinegar. Make the pesto, setting aside half the toasted pine nuts for a garnish. Toss the beets with it, leaving ample streaks throughout. Place them over the greens. Remove the onions from the vinegar and strew them over the beets. Garnish with the reserved pine nuts and serve.


Deborah Madison notes: At the farmer's market, beets usually come with their greens, which are uncommonly lush and fresh. Even though they may look tough, they cook quickly to tenderness and their flavor is mild and sweet. Marjoram is an absolutely delicious herb with beets, every bit as companionable as the more common dill. This segment appears in show #2802. Recipe reprinted from Local Flavors, Broadway Books 2002 © 2002 Deborah Madison Used with permission
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