A few weeks ago in our CSA share we were given golden beets. At this point this summer I have done a LOT of cooking with beets. I’ve found that it is much easier to find recipes with regular red beets than it is with golden, although they are pretty similar. Golden beets have a little lighter flavor than the red ones do. Although I’m fairly certain that I could substitute golden beets in for any beet recipe, I was really thrilled when I found a great recipe on Epicurious, from Bon Appetit magazine that used the golden ones specifically.

Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens and Pine Nuts
from Bon Appetit Magazine on Epicurious.com

1/3 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
12 ounces farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Scatter beet greens over onions. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl. Return water to boil. Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese.

This was a great, simple dish that used the whole beet. It was very easy, as the beet just needed to be cut up and boiled for a short time, instead of roasting them in the oven for a while. Golden beets are also much less messy than red beets, so no stained finger tips or countertops. The recipe suggests that you can use red beets if you prefer, but the pasta will come out pink! I have a recipe planned for next week that will involve red beets and pasta so I’m interested to try this out!