Beets’ jewel-like colors and sweet, earthy taste would be enough, but these root vegetables are also packed with nutrients,
like vitamin C and folate.
Season: Year-round; peak June through October.
How to Choose Beets
Select beets that are firm and not more than a couple of inches in diameter, with smooth, blemish-free dark red or golden yellow skin. (Give the white-fleshed or dramatic striped varieties a try if you find them.) If you want to cook the attached greens (like spinach), make sure they’re bright green.
How to Store Beets
Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves (which leach moisture from the roots), leaving an inch or two of stem at the top. Store the beets and the leaves, unwashed, in separate bags in the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment. The greens will last for only a few days, but the roots stay fresh for up to 3 weeks.
How to Prepare Beets
Beet juice can stain, so protect your countertop when cutting. Keeping the skin on while cooking (it comes off easily afterward) preserves flavor and color.
How to Use Beets
Small, young beets are tasty grated raw in salads. All types are delicious steamed or boiled, but to best bring out the flavor, roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes, then slip off the skins, slice, and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Real Simple Beet Recipes:
- Chilled Beets With Sour Cream
- Watercress Salad With Beets and Feta
- Shaved Baby Beets With Greens
- Poached Salmon Salad With Beets
- Beet Napoleons
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.