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Beets with Lemon and Almonds


We sought a streamlined recipe for beets that maximized their sweet, earthy flavor. To achieve this goal in less than an hour, we braised the halved beets on the stovetop in minimal water, reduced the residual cooking liquid, and added light brown sugar and vinegar. This flavor-packed glaze was just thick enough to coat the wedges of peeled beets. For flavor and texture contrast, we added toasted nuts (or pepitas), fresh herbs (or scallions), and aromatic citrus zest (or pungent freshly grated ginger) just before serving.

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (103 Votes)


  • 4 to 6 6
  • Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 pounds beets, trimmed and halved horizontally
  • 1 1/4 1 1/4 1/4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 3 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 1 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 1/2 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 2 2 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 1 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Place beets, cut side down, in single layer in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven. Add water and ¼ teaspoon salt; bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beets are tender and tip of paring knife inserted into beets meets no resistance, 45 to 50 minutes.

2. Transfer beets to cutting board. Increase heat to medium-high and reduce cooking liquid, stirring occasionally, until pan is almost dry, 5 to 6 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar; return to boil; and cook, stirring constantly with heat-resistant spatula, until spatula leaves wide trail when dragged through glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

3. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub off skins with paper towel or dish towel and cut into ½-inch wedges. Add beets, shallot, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to glaze and toss to coat. Transfer beets to serving dish; sprinkle with almonds, mint, and thyme; and serve.

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