Beet Green + Almond Pesto Pilaf
My Nana always says that the smaller beets are the tastiest and sweetest. I think she’s right. They also cook more quickly when you steam them. At the farmer’s market you’ll be able to find beets with beautiful and crisp greens still attached. If you happen to be making this recipe without access to fresh beet tops, substitute spinach or kale.
  • 4 small fresh beets, steamed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 bunch of beet greens (about 3-4 cups), stems removed
  • ¾ cup toasted almonds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or water if you’re oil-free)
  1. Steam beets for 20-30 minutes in a pot with a steam basket inserted.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.
  3. Toast 1 cup quinoa in a pot for about 30 seconds, until it starts to pop. Shake it a couple of times to evenly toast the grains.
  4. Add water, and bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid ajar, then remove from heat, and cover completely. Allow the quinoa to sit for another 5-10 minutes to steam and finish cooking.
  6. When the beets have finished steaming, place them in a colander, and under running cold water, gently slip away the skins.
  7. Quarter the beets, then toss them with the cooked quinoa and pesto.
  1. Place the beet greens, almonds, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and chili in a food processor, and blend.
  2. Slowly pour in the olive oil. Blend until combined, or your desired texture is reached. I like mine to be pretty grainy, but not too chunky.
Recipe by Sweet Potato Soul by Jenné Claiborne at