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In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to cut beets in three different ways. Beets come in many different colors and varieties – from bright red to orange, white or even striped. Beets tend to be overlooked, which is a shame; not only do they have a myriad of tasty uses, their greens can go in salads, smoothies, or stir-fries. Learn the best way to cut beets so you can start using them more in recipes!
WHY learn to cut beets
With any vegetable, using the proper cutting technique ensures getting the most of each one. Plus, certain cuts work better in certain recipes.
- The smaller the cut, the quicker a beet will cook on a roasting pan.
- Skinnier cuts, like thinly slice rounds, are ideal for quick pickling because they absorb flavors so well.
- Different cuts can also alter how people perceive the taste of vegetables. For instance, think about the mouthfeel of a thinly sliced roasted beet chip versus a large wedge of steamed beet in a salad.
how to wash & peel beets
- Scrub all the dirt off under running water. A vegetable brush may be helpful.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin and a bit of the outer flesh.
- Know that peeling before cooking is only one option. Some believe this makes the beets sweeter and less earthy tasting, but if that is not a concern, they can be peeled after cooking also. When peeled after cooking, the skin slips off easily.
HOW TO Cut beets – 3 ways
There are many ways to cut beets, but below I’m sharing the three most popular cuts: sliced beets, beet wedges and julienned beets. Sliced beets are great roasted or boiled while julienned beets are great for enjoying raw in a salad.
For Thinly Sliced Beets
- Stand the washed and peeled beet on its root end, and using a sharp knife, slice a small bit off the side to create a flat side.
- Lay the beet on the flat, cut side, and start slicing in paper thin slices until you reach the top end of the beet. Viola, thinly sliced beets.
For beet WEDGES
- Lay the peeled and washed beet on its side and slice off the root end. Stand the beet up on the cut side and cut the beet in half.
- Now cut each half into half again. Continue halving the beet wedges until you reach the desired size.
For Julienned beet cuts
- Place the washed and peeled beet on its root end, and using a sharp knife, slice a small slice off the side of the beet. Lay the beet on its cut side and slice off the top and the root end. Slice the beet into thin slices.
- Stack the slices and cut across at thin intervals to create matchsticks.
Tips for working with beets
- Don’t toss the greens. If the beets come with greens, cut them off because, like carrot tops, they will draw moisture away from the vegetable if left attached during storage. But do keep the greens separately to use in salads or smoothies.
- Use a sharp knife to make the cleanest cuts. Smaller knives may give you more control, but regardless of size, make sure it’s sharp.
- Protect your cutting board. Red beet juice can go all over the place and stain wooden cutting boards. Try putting a layer of parchment paper or wax paper on top of the board to absorb the juice, and wear gloves if you want to avoid scrubbing the juice off your hands.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It depends on the recipe and how the beets will be used. If roasting beets on a sheet pan, say, peeling before cooking, makes sense because picking the skin off lots of tiny pieces after cooking would be a nuisance.
When raw, use a large vegetable peeler and expect to take some flesh away with the skin. After roasting, let the beet cool enough to handle, and then rub the skin off with a paper towel or under running water.
Store in a tightly covered container. Wrap in a damp paper towel if you like. It’s best to use them within two or three days.
Yes. Wrap tightly or pack into an airtight container. Frozen beets will last for up to 8 months.
If you’ve ever wondered how to cut a beet to use in recipes, I hope this tutorial was informative. Whether you’re slicing the beets, cutting them into wedges or matchsticks, the proper cutting technique will give you the best results for enjoying beets!
recipes with beets:
- Roasted Beet Salad
- Beet Orange Salad
- Beet Pickled Eggs
- Pink Pickled Turnips
- Fall Harvest Salad
- Farro Grain Bowl
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How to Cut Beets (3 ways)
- 1 beet washed, dried and peeled
- Stand the beet on its root end and using a sharp knife slice a small slice off the side of the beet.
- Lay the beet on the cut side, and you now have a stable beet to cut slices with. Starting from the root end, carefully make paper thin slices until you reach the top end of the beet
- Lay the beet on its side and slice off the root end.
- Stand the beet up on the cut side and cut the beet in half and cut each half into half again
- Continue cutting the wedges in half until you have the desired size
- Stand the beet on its root end and using a sharp knife slice a small slice off the side of the beet
- Lay the beet on its cut side and slice off the top and the root end. Slice the beet in ¼ inch slices.
- Stack the slices and cut across at ¼ inch intervals to create matchsticks
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen