Beets and Their Greens With Marjoram and Pine Nuts

A colorful and nutritious side dish.

Serves four


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

Toss the onions with vinegar to nearly cover, and refrigerate until needed. They will turn bright pink.

Discard any wilted leaves, 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 with salt.

Leaving an inch of the stems and 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 vinegar.

Make the pesto, setting aside half the toasted pine nuts as 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.

Recipe excerpted from Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books, 2008).

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