Chioggia Beet Carpaccio: Give Beets a Chance!

by Megg

Post image for Chioggia Beet Carpaccio: Give Beets a Chance!
Beets are a polarizing veggie.  People either love ’em or hate ’em, and when they hate, they really hate.  I’ve seen people get disgusted and offended at the mere mention of them, I’ve seen online groups dedicated to beet-bashing… even President Obama has a firm anti-beet stance !

But I’m of the option that beets aren’t bad; they’re merely misunderstood.  I’d like to offer an olive branch (or… beet branch?) to you beet-haters out there.  Come see how fresh, tasty, and beautiful beets can be!  I offer you this simply delicious recipe… the same recipe, I might add, that even converted some of my friends to the wonderful world of beets.

Chioggia Beets
Come on… give beets a chance!


First of all, beets aren’t always glaringly red.  Sometimes they’re a golden yellow, a warm violet, or even candy-striped!  Yep, they’re called “chioggia beets,” and feature a distinct red and white ring pattern when you cut them open. 

Cut Chioggia Beets

As for beet carpaccio, I first tried it out with golden beets, using a recipe from Restaurant Widow as my inspiration.  I had some photos, but not great ones, so I put off posting it here.  After cooking up those little chioggias last week, I sought out more at the farmers market this week (bigger ones, with the leaves) so I could make carpaccio.  I actually couldn’t for the life of me find the above link (until now, that is), so I ended up relying on memory and analyzing my golden beet photos to figure out a new recipe.  I liked it even better than the first time, especially with this variety of beets.

If I’ve been confusing any of you with the term “carpaccio,” yes, it’s usually used for dishes of thinly sliced, often raw, meat.  I remember having a divine beef carpaccio with truffle oil once… sooo good!  But lately you can find a carpaccio of almost anything.  Beet carpaccio is a pretty common one, so I’m not inventing it by any means.  Also, the beets in this dish are not raw, and let me tell you why.  When making a simple beet salad last week, I was going to do it raw.  I tasted a slice of chioggia beet as I was preparing it, and soon developed a sharp, burning feeling at the back of my throat.  I guess is a pretty common reaction, especially with this variety of beets, so just be careful if you’re ever about to have raw beets or beet juice.  Some people have no problem with it, and for the record I was fine and the feeling dissipated after 10 minutes, but it never hurts to make sure.  This has been a public service announcement.  You can now return to your regularly scheduled recipe.

Beet Carpaccio
This salad is perfect as a side dish, starter, or even a light lunch!  I served it along side a horseradish-crusted rack of lamb, and it was an amazing combo.

Beet Carpaccio
—inspired by Restaurant Widow
Serves 4

for salad:
  • 1 lb beets (preferably chioggia), trimmed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachio nutmeats
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup microgreens (I used radish)
for dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
1. Thinly slice the beets with a mandoline slicer.  Place the slices into a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Set aside. (The lemon juice will help preserve the color of the beets when you cook them, so let them sit at least 10 minutes while you prep everything else.)

2. Make the dressing: Mix together vinegar, sour cream, tarragon, and sugar with a wire whisk until well-blended.  Slowly add the olive oil, while whisking constantly.  (This creates an emulsion).  Add salt and white pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Bring water to a boil in a large pot that has a steamer tray.  If you like, add salt and a splash of lemon juice to the water.  Once boiling, place beet slices on the streamer tray (it’s alright if they overlap slightly).  Cover and steam for 5-6 minutes, or until tender yet firm.  Briefly shock the beets in an ice bath, then drain.

4.  Layer the beets and onions on four small plates.  Sprinkle with pistachios and feta cheese crumbles.  Make sure the dressing is well-stirred, then lightly drizzle over the salad.  Top with microgreens.

Beet Carpaccio

See? Beets don’t have to be so scary, weird, or ugly.  Beets can be beautiful and utterly delightful.  Beet lovers, enjoy this recipe and beet skeptics, please try it out and see if it changes your mind!

Where are you on the whole beet dispute?  If you like them, what’s your favorite recipe?  If you hate them, why?

And just a reminder, PopArtichoke is now on Facebook and Twitter!  Thanks for all the support!
Have a great weekend!

(P.S. Want to know what I did with the especially delicious chioggia beet greens?  I made beet green spanakopita!   Here’s the recipe!)

  • tofugirl

    Beautiful, beautiful colors. I happen to be a beet lover (and have no problems with beet juice, thank goodness) but I used to hate them. What converted me was having them roasted! Now i can't get enough-will have to try this recipe soon :)

  • Megg

    Yay! Another convert! And glad to hear you don't have the reaction. Luckily I found lots of info about it on raw food sites so I knew it wasn't just me.. I'd be so sad if I had a beet allergy somehow!

  • Marisa

    I'm a beet lover! As you might've noticed… :-)

    Your presentation of this carpaccio is beautiful - bet it tastes great. Strangely I don't have a problem with beet juice, but the raw beet taste just doesn't do it for me. The first bite is good, then it's all downhill from there.

  • Megg

    Thanks for checking out my recipe, Marisa! I've never had beet juice, so I can't say for that, but I totally agree with you on the "first bite" thing. :)

  • Anonymous

    Hi! I found your website because I just tasted the Chioggia beet, and it caused a very bad reaction in the back of my throat, like an instant sore throat. Do you know of anyone else that has had that kind of reaction? It was a bit scary!

    • Cecilia Bright


      • Megg

        It should fade as long as you stop eating the raw beet. Be careful, though, folks! If anything persists, consult a doctor!

  • Megg

    Hi, as you'll read above, I had a similar experience.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Father of T-dawg

    Of course, I am also a beet lover. This salad look fabulous! And congrats on getting props from

    Another great thing to do with beets - beet chips. Steam first, as in the salad, then slice and broil in the oven (as with your kale chips). I use a mix of chioggias, golden, and classic reds.

    Keep up the good cooking and beautiful photography.


  • Megg

    Hi Richard! Thanks! I'll have to try those beet chips once the farmer's market starts up again.. is it summer yet? ^_^

  • Lea Ann

    I joined a CSA this year and received my first ever chioggia beet.  Googled it and landed here.  I think this sounds fabulous.  I’ll be trying this recipe.  

    • Megg (PopArtichoke)

      Thanks Lea Ann! CSAs are so great for being challenged with new ingredients! :) Let me know how you like it!

  • Pingback: Ch-Ch-Chioggia « Urban Acres()

  • Daniel Ferguson

    If you can, try to find Blankoma Beets. They are completely white flesh, and are just fantastic. It’s much easier to get people to try beets when they’re not the standard blood red color. I love beets, and grow many varieties every year…. but usually the mainstays are Bulls Blood, Blankoma & Chioggia… not to mention the swiss chard as well. I’ve gonna have to try this recipe out! Looks fantastic!

  • JoMom

    I just ate 2 small raw chioggia beets from my garden and experienced a burning sensation in the back of my throat. Thanks for the info. All further chioggias will be steamed.

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