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Warm Braised Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Dressing Recipe (Power Foods)

by Jeanette on July 6, 2012 · 19 Comments
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Warm Braised Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce

Warm Braised Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce

Ever since I tasted the Warm Beet Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Sauce at Dressing Room restaurant in Westport, CT, a few weeks ago during a photo shoot, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Normally, I roast beets in the oven, but I’ve been obsessed with trying to figure out how Chef Jon Vaast makes his braised beets. He mentioned that he braises them in the oven in a liquid bath with some olive oil.

Fresh Whole Beets

Fresh Whole Beets

The last few weeks, beets have been showing up at the farmer’s market and in my CSA Box. When beets are super fresh, the beet greens can be eaten too. I hate throwing food out, so I’m always looking for ways to use up the entire vegetable. Last summer, I made Pasta with Roasted Beets, Beet Greens and Pine Nuts which my kids really enjoyed.

Warm Braised Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce

I was thinking of making this pasta dish again until I came across an article “Putting the Whole Beet to Work, Including the Tops,” by David Tanis in the New York Times a few weeks. I knew I had to try David Tanis’ recipe for Golden Beet and Beet Greens Salad with Yogurt, Mint and Dill. I made this beet salad twice, once braising the beets on the stovetop using Mark Bittman’s recipe as a guide, and the second time, braising the beets in the oven in a pot of water and olive oil. Although the beets seemed to cook faster on the stovetop, the oven braised beets had a silkier quality to them. I also threw in some radishes when I oven braised the beets and they came out with a nice mellow flavor.

Warm Braised Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce (Yellow Beets, Radishes, Fava Beans)

Braised Yellow Beet and Radish Salad with Fava Beans and Yogurt Sauce

Served warm with a dollop of yogurt dressing, this Warm Beet Salad with Beet Greens satisfied my desire for Dressing Room’s Warm Beet Salad.

Recently, I joined a new weekly food blogging group that will feature a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.

We will be working our way through each of these 38 Power Foods that are divided into four sections –  vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, and then eggs, yogurt and fish. I’m looking forward to learning about each of these power foods and why they’re so good for us.

This week, we’re featuring Beets as a Power Food. I have to say I was not a beet fan until a few years ago when I tasted my first roast beet salad. Up until then, the only beets I’d ever eaten were the kind that came in a can or were served at salad bars. Now, whenever it’s beet season, I snatch them up from the local farmer’s market, or look for them in my CSA Box.

So, what makes Beets a Power Food? Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support, and a key body nutrient called betaine, which has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers. Beets are also high in folate, manganese, fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

Another interesting note is that beet fiber (and carrot fiber) are two specific types of food fiber that may provide special health benefits, particularly with respect to digestive tract health and the cardiovascular system.

Fresh Beet Greens and Beetroots

Trimmed Beet Greens and Beetroots

As for Beet Greens, don’t throw them out – they are incredibly rich in nutrients, with double the potassium, folic acid, calcium and iron as the roots.

5 from 1 reviews
Warm Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Braised Beets adapted from Mark Bittman. Beet Salad and Yogurt Sauce adapted from David Tanis. For braising the beets, I used olive oil instead of butter and thyme instead of tarragon. To make the yogurt sauce healthier, I used non-fat Greek yogurt.
Serves: 4-6
Braised Beets
  • 1 pound small beets, trimmed and peeled (if large, cut into smaller pieces to cook faster)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • water
Beet Greens
  • Beet greens from beets (above), washed well, stems trimmed
Toasted Cumin-Coriander Mixture
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup shallots or red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, scallions, or other herbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh dill sprigs, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro
Braised Beets
  1. Place beets, olive oil, white wine and thyme in a medium pot, single layer. Add enough water to just cover the beets. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes until beets are tender. Remove beets from pan. Cut into bite size pieces and toss with some Vinaigrette.
Beet Greens
  1. Cut Beet Greens into 1" strips. Place Beet Greens in a saute pan and add ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes until wilted and just tender. Drain well.
Toasted Cumin-Coriander mixture
  1. Place coriander and cumin seeds in a small saucepan. Toast on medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat. Cool and then grind in a spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.
  1. Mix Vinaigrette ingredients together and let sit for a few minutes for flavors to meld and mellow.
Yogurt Sauce
  1. Mix all Yogurt Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
To Serve
  1. Place a portion of cooked Beet Greens on salad plate. Drizzle with some Vinaigrette. Place some Braised Beet on Top. Dollop some Yogurt Sauce on top. Garnish with dill, scallions and cilantro or any other fresh herbs you have on hand.
To oven braise the beets, place trimmed (unpeeled) beets in a saucepan. Cover with water and add a few splashes of extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees until tender. This will take about 1 hour for small beets and several hours for larger beets. Radishes are also nice cooked this way. I added some in along with the beets and took them out after 1 hour.

Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week:

Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Casey – Bookcase Foodie
Jill – Saucy Cooks
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink


The World’s Healthiest Foods: Beets
Power Foods – 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients

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  1. Oh Jeanette, you temptress!! I am leaving for the airport in 15 minutes to visit my daughter and her kids and now I will be dreaming of this salad until I can get home and make it!!!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Jill – enjoy your time with your daughter and kids! This salad is really good – I’ve made it several times already!

  2. Beautiful photos–great, happy food!

  3. Delicious! I must try the oven braised beets. We are on the same page again.. using up the entire beetroot, top and root! Soul Sister <3!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Ansh, I learned this week that the beet greens were really nutritious so even better to be able to use it in this one dish meal.

  4. I love beets, and I love using up the greens as well! This is a great recipe. I’ve never tried oven braising before, so I’ll definitely be trying this out. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Katie, you should definitely try oven braising beets – I loved the silkier texture of the beets cooked this way.

  5. I’m really really really trying to get myself to like beets because I know how good they are for you! This salad sounds like a winner to me!

  6. I adore beets! Nutritious and delicious..a perfect salad for me.

  7. Love beets, and I like the sound of braising them…delicious!

  8. Jeanette, this beet salad looks amazing!! A lovely yogurt sauce too!

  9. Jeannette, what a beautiful informative post. Can’t wait to try this, as well as the delicious pasta with beets and greens recipe you mentioned.

  10. Beets are one of my favorite veggies… We eat them often in our house. Love the pairing with the yogurt dressing!

  11. Jeanette,
    Both of your salads are so visually appealing! I could go for either one of them right now. Beets are so good for us, so I’m glad to be seeing all these great recipes the group is coming up with.

  12. I love a warm beet salad and yogurt just seems to be the perfect compliment. I have never tried braising them. I can’t wait to try it out. This is one of my favorite beet salad: http://www.beyondthepeel.net/2011/08/warm-lemony-navy-beans-with-roasted-beets-and-a-mint-yogurt-sauce.html

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      France – oven braising is so easy and produces a really nice velvety texture in the beets. Thanks for sharing your warm beet and bean salad with yogurt sauce – I am going to have to try that one, sounds wonderful!

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