Beets were first cultivated around the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Europe, and eventually spread to all parts of the world, but were descended from the sea beet, a wild seashore plant of which only the leaves and stems were eaten. Now, we consume the entire vegetable; the leaves, stems, and the root itself. Several different of beets are commonly grown: the traditional red beet, the pink chioggia beet, and the yellow golden beet. They are also grown in several different sizes and shapes.

When buying beets, it is important to inspect the root for a firm and solid surface. The leaves and stalks should also be hearty and cleaned with cool water before cooking and can be store in the fridge for up to 5 days. If the leaves start to go bad, they can be cut from the root, which will last for weeks in a cool place. There are many different ways to cook beets; their earthy flavor is nicely offset by vinegar, meaning they are commonly eaten cold in salads with vinaigrettes. Leaving their skin on while cooking will preserve the color. You can test its doneness by sticking a knife through the vegetable, near its cap, which should pierce easily, its skin, should also be easier to peel off when this vegetable is fully cooked.

In Season

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Recipes with Beets

Roasted Beet and Herb Salad with Cheese Tuiles and Champagne Vinaigrette

Damon Barham, Parties That Cook

Radicchio, Beet, and Mint Salad

Joyce Goldstein, Inside the California Food Revolution

Shredded Beets with Crumbled Goat Cheese and Creamy Citrus Dressing

Cheryl Forberg, RD, Nutritionist

Carrot-Beet Hash Cakes

Jessica Goldman Foung, Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook

Articles about Beets

July 18, 2014

Meet Marcy

CUESA is excited to welcome our new executive director, Marcy Coburn! Find out what inspires her work.

July 11, 2014

Farm Tripping

Summer is prime time for agritourism. Here’s our list of local U-picks, tours, and other farm fun.

July 09, 2014

A Fond Farewell from Critical Edge Knife Sharpening

Bob Kattenburg retires after 19 years as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s knife sharpener.

July 04, 2014

On the Farm at Marin Roots

Take a behind-the-scenes look at organic veggie growing with the young farmers at Marin Roots Farm.

July 02, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Rafael Zuniga

Rafael’s passion for good food stems from his work with children and youth.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »