Beets have got to be one of the most versatile, useful root vegetables in existence. Their roots, stems and leaves are all edible – meaning they should end up on your plate instead of the compost.
One of my favourite ways to use beet stems and leaves is to puree them into a pesto. Of course, most things mixed with olive oil, pine nuts and salt are delicious, but this is just beyond — my latest addiction and favourite thing to spread on toast. To spice things up further, you could add your favourite herb or spice. I tried saje and it was wonderful.
Another beautiful benefit of the beet is its juice! After boiling the root vegetable, you’re left with concentrated, deep pink water, which works fabulously as a natural dye. Use this to colour anything, like yogurt, ice cream, risotto or, my favourite, soft-boiled eggs. Just pop your peeled eggs into a glass jar and then fill the container with beet juice. Let sit for 2-3 days and voila, beautiful bright pink beets that you can slice and serve on toast or a salad.
Beet Pesto Recipe
Yields: just under 2 cups
The stems & leaves from three bunches of red beets (I get mine from SPUD)
1/4 good olive oil (such as Domenica Fiore, Partanna)
1/2 c. pine nuts
1.5 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. chopped saje (or your favourite herb)
Blend everything together in your food processor until smooth – enjoy!