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Eat Your Beets (Crush Them First)

June 16, 2014

Rochelle Bilow

Beets are candy-sweet and awfully tasty with yogurt. We’re upping the “wow” factor with plenty of herbs and a lemony vinaigrette. Smashing the beets makes for a striking presentation.

SEE MORE: Egregious Summer Cookout Mistakes

This two-part cooking technique adds layers of texture—a creamy inside and a crisp outside.


  • 2 pounds mixed small or medium beets (such as Chioggia, red, and/or golden), scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh dill, plus more
  • ½ cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt) or plain Greek yogurt
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

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Preheat oven to 400°. Divide beets between 2 large sheets of foil. Drizzle beets on each sheet with ½ Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt and pepper and wrap up foil around beets. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 40–50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, using a paper towel, rub skins from beets (they should slip off easily). Crush beets with the bottom of a small bowl (it’s alright if they fall apart).

Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beets, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, add ¼ cup mint and 2 Tbsp. dill, and toss to coat.

Serve beets and dollops of labneh drizzled with more oil, topped with more herbs, and seasoned with pepper and sea salt.

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