10-Minute Beets with Shallots, Garlic, and Chives

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Photo Kateryna Odyntsova

Kateryna Odyntsova

STRATEGY SESSION: As usual, my goals here are to keep fat and calories low, flavor high, and glycemic load under control. Beets make it easy. They’re low in calories and fat and so full of flavor that they require very little adornment. In fact, the less the better. Their high glycemic index can be balanced by low-glycemic additions to the meal (e.g. a salad or green vegetable).


Beets interest me. I’m willing to work at them (e.g. Salad of Roasted Beets, their Greens, and Chives), but the less time it takes, the better (e.g. Grilled Beets with Orange-Scented Goat Cheese). I’m always looking for an easier approach, and I came upon one recently in an article by Mark Bittman on the uses of the food processor. His grated sweet potatoes inspired me to apply the shredding disc to some roots of my own. Result? Tasty and beautiful beets in 10 minutes.

If you’re looking for an unusual, colorful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, these beets could be the answer. You could make them ahead of time and then reheat in the microwave just before serving. Toss with a little more oil and vinegar, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

Serving suggestions: I served these beets with pork, but they would also be excellent with duck, turkey, or lamb.

Note: I think these beets are at their best when they’re crisp-tender, but you can make them as tender as you like. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can skip the shallots and garlic altogether. Simply stir-fry the beets in hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the vinegar. Add more oil, if you like.

Special note: This recipe has been submitted to today’s Foodbuzz Top 9 competition. If you like the recipe (and/or the photo) Kateryna and I would really appreciate your help. To vote, go to http://tinyurl.com/shredbeet and click “buzz it” at the top of the page. Thanks very much for your support!


10-Minute Beets with Shallots, Garlic, and Chives

  • 2 pounds beets, without greens, scrubbed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive, plus more for drizzling, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  1. Shred the beets in a food processor fitted with a disc for medium shredding or fine julienne.
  2. Place a nonstick wok or large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. When hot, add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the beets and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and tossing, 3 to 5 minutes, until the beets have given up their water and are crisp-tender, or longer to desired doneness. Transfer to a serving dish. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vinegar and sprinkle with the chives. Taste and add more vinegar, and additional oil, if desired. Serve immediately. 

Makes 6 servings 

Per serving: 67 calories, 2 g total fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 g total carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein, 79 mg sodium.


  • October 10 2010, 3:22 PM
    Trish N.

    I too love beets and have a big bag of them from the farmer’s market in my fridge right now so I’m going to copy this recipe for my veggie file and give it a try. I don’t often post but read your all your new posts as they come up. I have saved several of them to try. Keep up the good work!

  • October 10 2010, 4:07 PM

    Thanks for your comment. I think you’ll be amazed at the speed with which the beets cook by this method. As much as I love tender oven-roasted beets, I found that they’re very tasty in this crisp-tender state.

  • October 12 2010, 10:11 AM
    Quay Po Cooks

    My hubby loves beets. I must make this for him.. What lovely dish and thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  • October 12 2010, 10:27 AM

    It’s my pleasure to share it. Enjoy!

  • October 13 2010, 4:29 PM

    This dish does look and sound great! I just do not like beet, At All! I tried several times to “like” it, but I can’t do it! I do love its color though!!!

  • October 13 2010, 5:02 PM

    Hi Deborah,
    Just discovered your site and I love it! It’s great to have a doctor’s viewpoint on food and recipes. These beets look deelish. Cheers!

  • October 13 2010, 6:35 PM

    I’m so glad you found your way here. I hope you’ll come back often.

  • October 13 2010, 7:16 PM
    [email protected]

    I always bake them, and that takes a while so this is a great alternative… the color is gorgeous and they are so good… they really don’t need much to make them delicious!

  • October 13 2010, 7:23 PM

    Hello, Deana! I roast them most of the time too. In fact, I offered to cook something for my son today and he requested “veggies.” (I must have done something right.) So I made him roasted beet and turnip “fries” and his favorite roasted cauliflower with garlic and rosemary. However, the shredding technique is great when you want beets but don’t have time for the oven route.

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