Do you love the flavor of smoke? If you do, you'll love my Smoked Beets with Goat Cheese! A cold smoke gun is all you need to infuse fresh beets and their greens with lots of smoky flavor, and only 4 main ingredients. Toss in some goat cheese and toasted walnuts for a simply fantastic and healthy side dish. Sage browned butter optional. 😉
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Cold Smoke Gun!
You know I like to play with my food, right? Well, I got a new toy! A cold smoke gun (similar). Yippee 😆 I love smoke flavor (ie. bacon), but let's be honest, bacon can't go in everything! So now I have a whole plethora of ideas turning in my wheelhouse... I'm so excited. This gadget literally imparts amazing smoke flavor in minutes!
First up, I attended the Everything Food Conference in May of this year, and watched a really cool demonstration by the awesome Chef Katie Wienner, and she used a smoke gun on a beet salad. It wasn't at all like this one, but the seed was planted. The flavor of the smoked beets rocked.
I love pairing beets and goat cheese/chèvre as in my Passionfruit Vinaigrette with Greens & Roasted Beets. I've used different nuts in combination, but walnuts are always a favorite. The addition of crispy sage and browned butter is optional, but worth the extra effort IMHO! 🙂
📋 Ingredients for Smoked Beets
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- beets - Using all parts of the beets - greens, roots, and stems - is part of the appeal of this side dish. Look for beets with healthy looking greens. If you eat with your eyes (like I do), consider using a mix of red, gold, and chioggia (candy cane striped) beets.
- walnuts - Walnut pieces are fine. You don't need whole walnuts. You may want to rough chop them if you have whole walnuts.
- goat cheese/chèvre - The goat cheese melts a little bit into the warm beets, and it acts almost like a dressing. You can substitute other cheeses (feta would probably be good), but it won't melt into the beets.
- fresh sage - Crispy fresh sage and browned butter are optional, but a little chopped fresh sage is good too!
- Prepare the beets - Cut the tops off the beets and place them in a sink full of cold water. I soak the beets in a bowl of cold water until I'm ready to peel them. Next, the beets get peeled and cut into wedges or one inch cubes. I tend to prefer cubes if the beets are large, and wedges if they're small. The choice is yours. Root vegetables hide a lot of dirt! 🙄 Peel the beets, and cut in wedges. Rough chop the greens. Dice the stems.
- Steam the beets - The beets and stems go into the steamer first. I steam them for about 15 minutes, then add the rough chopped greens. They'll require another 10 minutes for a total of about 25 minutes.
- Smoke the beets - My wood chips came with an assortment of chips in different "flavors." To be perfectly honest, I've not paid any attention to which ones I used while developing Smoked Beets and Greens. Follow manufacturers instructions for your specific smoking gun. Mine is super simple. I pack the small chamber with the wood shavings, plug it in, place the end of the tube in the cooking vessel, and cover. Press the "on" button, and wait for the magic to happen! It typically takes about 5 minutes with mine. I let it go until the wood shavings are spent.
- Finish - Once the beets are smoked, place them in a good-sized mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Drizzle with the browned butter (if using), reserving the crispy sage for garnish.
- Add the toasted walnut bits and crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with crispy sage leaves and/or fresh sage as desired. Enjoy!
This dish is best with all parts of the beets. It's often difficult to find beets with decent looking tops. You can substitute a sturdy green if necessary. I include the stems as I love textural contrast. I cut the tops off and place them in a sink full of cold water. I soak the beets in a bowl of cold water until I'm ready to peel them. Root vegetables hide a lot of dirt! 🙄
I rinse and swish the heck out of the greens. I then cut away the stems, and painstakingly cut away any soft rot using my kitchen shears. The stems get a fine chop and the greens get a rough chop.
Cut the beets into wedges or one inch cubes. I tend to prefer cubes if the beets are large, and wedges if they're small. The choice is yours.
To be perfectly honest? I don't think so. This is a dish that highlights farm fresh produce. Re-heating it might be a mess. We allow 3 beets per 2 servings, and the accompanying greens and stems.
If you're lucky enough to have a cold smoking gun, kudos! 😀 If not, put one on your wish list. (You do have a kitchen wish list, don't you?) If you enjoy the flavor of smoke in a brisket or pulled pork, I think you'll love playing around with one. Yay or nay? Let me know in the comments s'il vous plait?
Smoked Beets with Goat Cheese
Smoked Beets and Greens with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
- 2 bunches beets - with greens (see notes)
- olive oil
- sea salt/fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup walnuts - toasted and chopped
- 2 ounces chèvre (goat cheese) - more or less as desired
Crispy Sage and Browned Butter
- 4 ounces good salted butter - I like European butter
- fresh sage leaves to taste - I do 12-15, pat them dry!
Smoked Beets and Greens with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
- Remove beets from their stems and greens. Thoroughly clean everything, cutting off any soft rot on the leaves. (See post for more information).
- Peel and cut the beets in either wedges or large cubes. Fine chop the stems. Rough chop the greens.
- Place the beets and chopped stems in a steamer. Steam 15 minutes before adding the greens. Continue steaming until the beets are tender but firm (depends on size but about 10 minutes).
- While the beets steam, set up your smoking gun (according to manufacturers instructions), and prepare the crispy sage and browned butter if using.
- Insert the smoking gun tube in the pan with the beets. Don't constrict the tube. I let the lid rest on top of the tube, and place a towel over the slightly open side to keep more smoke in the pan. I have an induction cooktop so this works. Foil might be a better option with an open flame. Continue smoking the beets until the wood shavings are spent.
- Remove to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the browned butter (reserving the crispy sage for garnish).
- Gently toss in the toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with the crispy sage if using. Eat it!
Crispy Sage and Browned Butter (Optional)
- Cut the butter into 3 or 4 pieces, and add them to a small saute pan over medium heat. When the butter foams up, add the sage leaves. When the foam disappears and the solids drop to the bottom, the sage leaves should be crisp. Remove them with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel. Add the browned butter in with the olive oil.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.