Braised Golden Beets and Winter Radishes with Meyer Lemon

We’re deep in winter, and that means not only root vegetables but luscious Meyer lemons as well!

Do you like beets? Many people love them, but I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the big fat red beets, perhaps because I had so many as a child. I want to love them, they are so beautiful and healthful. But, when I was a kid, I thought beets were rude because they would bleed into my mashed potatoes and I didn’t like anything doing that. I would use just about anything on my plate to create a barrier, and the only problem with that was yet another food was stained and flavored with beet.

Making peace with beets

      I still don’t love them, but I’ll eat them if served to me, and I’ll cook them for my husband who really likes them. I do like the golden or Chioggia beets, so that’s progress. The golden and Chioggia, also known as candy stripe, are much milder in flavor, a little sweeter, and they keep to themselves! I’ll gladly cook and eat them any day.

So good for you

      All beets are really nutritious, filled with vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants. That’s a good reason to cook them, but they are also really tasty and pretty to look at, especially this time of year.

      I found some magnificent Meyer lemons this week and thought I’d pair them with the golden beets and some wonderful and colorful winter radishes. I used purple Daikon here as well as watermelon radishes. You could also add the slightly spicier black Spanish radishes as well, or even radishes from the grocery store in a pinch. They are all delicious.

A sweet and aromatic lemon

      Meyer lemons have a fabulous aroma, kind of woodsy, and are a cross between a citron and a Mandarin orange. They are rounder, fatter, and sweeter than a conventional lemon, and are a welcome burst of sunshine. At this time of year, they are at the peak of the season and can become the star of many a sweet or savory meal. In this case, a side dish!

      I’ve added a bit of orange to this to round out the citrus flavor, but you could use all lemons if you like; you could even use all orange! No tarragon? Use parsley, chives, or rosemary.

Braised Golden Beets with Winter Radishes and Meyer Lemons

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 fat clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 or 4 beets, cut in quarters or sixths
  • 2 large winter radishes (watermelon, Daikon, black Spanish)
  • Juice of 1 large Meyer lemon and one tangerine or clementine
  • Zest of the citrus
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp. native honey, just to round it out
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon

Prep the vegetables. You will want the beets and radishes about the same size. You can peel or not peel the beets depending on whether you usually do or not, and if the skins are really thick or thin. I just took some of the roughest of the skins off.

      Heat a large skillet and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic, some salt and pepper,  and cook another 30 seconds. 

      Add the beets and radishes along with the citrus juice, water, honey, turmeric, and a touch more salt.

      Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the veggies are just tender. This will depend on the size and age of the roots. Mine took just under 10 minutes.

Add the zest and fresh tarragon and mix well, taste for seasoning. Plate and top with some of the thick, luscious braising liquid (or all of it!) and little finely minced tarragon. If you eat dairy, a little fresh goat cheese crumbled on top would be delightful.

If you can find the beautiful Chioggia or candy stripe beets, they are the best here!

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72 Comments Add yours

  1. Suzassippi says:

    So beautiful! I love beets, but since I am the only one here who does, I rarely make the effort. This sounds so interesting, though–I might have to give it a whirl and just reduce the amount.

    1. Give it a try and just call it braised vegetables…

      1. Suzassippi says:

        They know me too well–never fall for it. But sometimes, I just do it because I like it.

  2. leggypeggy says:

    I’m lucky enough to have a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard.

    1. Oh Peggy, be still my heart! You are a lucky lady indeed!

  3. Very beautiful! Not a huge fan of beets either, but maybe if I eat them enough…

    1. Try the milder ones and mix other stuff in Laurie, that’s my advice!

  4. brwbmm says:

    I’d like to try this recipe but I’ll roast it on a sheet pan.

    1. Roasted vegetables are quite delicious! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. c.a. says:

    So sad! We need to pray for you that you will be ‘healed’ of your distaste of beets! 😂 Just teasin,’ c.a.

    1. LOL. My mother prayed a lot for it, but it didn’t work. But at least I like SOME beets!

  6. BERNADETTE says:

    I really like beets.. This is a beautiful visual combination. Bookmarking this recipe for the next time I see Meyer Lemons in the market.

    1. Thanks Bernie! They really are pretty to look at and with everything outside kind of black and white, it is nice to have color on the plate!

  7. Christy B says:

    Lemons look bright and beautiful, and they add so much flavor to dishes! Great recipe here, Dorothy 💗

    1. Thank you Christy! They are like sunshine this time of year.

  8. I’m a big fan of beets (I even add them to chocolate cake and muffins!) and radishes (them I haven’t added to cakes – yet… :)), so obviously I’m sold on this tasty looking dish.
    Meyer lemon is indeed such a treat. I hope I’ll be able to find them soon. 🙂

    1. I’m always excited when I spy the Meyer lemons. They are one of those winter icons I depend on, and they are so good!
      I’ve never added beets to chocolate cake except once when I added the juice to make the color of a red velvet cake using a really old recipe. Didn’t taste the beets at all!

      1. I love Meyer lemon. I posted a recipe for upside down cake using it a few years ago, and also a recipe for lemon curd using it. Great stuff!
        I also posted a recipe for chocolate cake with raw beets. It’s not too noticeable, and definitely enhances the nutritional values. It was in beginning of the blog, and the photos are not that great. Mow that I’ve mentioned it, maybe I’ll redo it. 🙂

      2. I’m going to look these up Ronit! Especially the Meyer lemon curd!!!!

      3. I’m eagerly waiting to get some and make it again! 🙂

  9. Ally Bean says:

    I like beets and I love lemons, so this recipe sounds delicious. I’ve never thought to put those two ingredients together.

    1. Thanks Ally! The lemon gives the beets a nice lightness!

  10. Carolyn Page says:

    Just eating the last of my beets from the garden, Dorothy. They are scrumptious! The flavours in this recipes certainly would get the juices jumping!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! The citrus really shakes it up!

  11. This is one of your recipes that calls out to me. I LOVE all the ingredients and can sit here and visualize the taste and the aroma. My oh my, but I just know this is one delicious plate of food.

    1. Thanks Judy! You are always so kind! The beet lovers devoured this one!

  12. Hahaha, the beets were rude ☺️
    I love all types of beets but here I only can find the red ones! A delicious dish 😋

    1. I’m sure you can use the red beets here Ribana if you like them!

  13. Gail says:

    I’m always (secretly) impressed when I prepare an unpopular vegetable in a way that is too tempting to resist. 😍🍃

    1. I know Gail, i feel that way with one of my Brussels sprouts recipes! And when I make beets taste good even to me, well, that’s an accomplishment!

  14. Chef Mimi says:

    This is really lovely. But let’s face it, beets taste like dirt. I finally learned to love them, but I can understand how some people can’t this is a great dish, and my girlfriend is bringing me some Meyer lemons from her tree this evenin hen she visits!

    1. Kindred spirits Mimi!
      Enjoy your beautiful lemons!💕🍋

  15. I am not a beet lover either Dorothy, but what a beautiful and creative dish you have made with them! I do love Meyer lemons, they are such a treat!
    Jenna

    1. My strategy was to dilute them with other veggies, the onion and radishes, and bathe them in a lovely flavor, the lemon! It worked!

  16. nancyc says:

    I like beets best when they are roasted—they sound great fixed this way, too! I do try to eat them because they really are good for you! 🙂

    1. Roasting any vegetables enhances the flavor I think! I have roasted the striped and golden beets and grilled them as well. Agree they are all, regardless of color, really nutritious!

  17. I love beets and your recipe sounds wonderful, especially with the lemons! I have never seen Chioggia beets where I live, how beautiful!

    1. Thanks Diane! The chioggia beets are really beautiful, sweet with a mild flavor. I actually love these, especially on the grill. Look for them at the farmers markets and local farm stands.

  18. Nancy says:

    I really enjoyed how you described eating beets as a child… gave me a smile.
    I love beets… pretty much anyway, any color, and really enjoy them pickled.
    Adding lemon intrigues me… and I have been given some Meyer Lemons…!
    Enjoy your week my friend!

    1. Well, that gift of Meyer lemons is a treasure indeed! Citrus on beets is a wonderful combination, this from my husband who absolutely loves beets, unlike his wife!
      Have a wonderful and colorful week!

  19. Julia says:

    What a delicious sounding recipe. I love Meyer lemon and always buy them when I find them. When I was growing up, we only had boiled red beets and red beets canned in vinegar. I didn’t really care for beets until I started liking pickles. These days, my favorite way to have beets is roasted. I wonder if this recipe could be adapted for roasting the beets, radishes, and lemons?

    1. i definitely think this could be adapted to a roasted version! I’d roast all the veggies, then take the roasting pan and deglaze it with the juice, etc., to make the sauce. Let me know if you try it!

  20. Your story is identical to mine LOL I also dont like beets mainly because my mom used it a lot and i always thought something so sweet shouldnt be called a vegetable let alone cooked and spiced up the way she cooked it. My husband on the other hand loves beets. To make him happy I make it once a year on his birthday haha. But i would like to try the golden beets especially with your recipe! It looks delicious.

    1. Thank you! Those childhood memories are strong indeed! My husband will eat beets in any way, boiled, roasted, pickled, etc., and I make them now and then for him. But there’s a deli nearby that does a nice pickled beet and he gets this and I don’t have to have red hands!

  21. Beets can be a bit sweet-bland (there is a perfect Dutch word for this but I can’t seem to find an English equivalent), so it is a great idea to balance that out with the lemon. I don’t like beets served warm without something to balance out the sweetness. Cooked beets served cold in a salad are fine though. One of my favorite combinations is beets with blue cheese.

    1. My husband the beer lover likes them with blue cheese, hot or cold, and pickled as well. But he would eat them any way!
      I’d love to learn that Dutch word!

      1. The word is “weeïg”, pronounced WAY-ugh. It means bland and not fresh, but slightly sweet in an off-putting way.

  22. Americaoncoffee says:

    A very interesting recipe !💞

    1. Thank you! We liked it!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        We s see lol need to learn mor tricks and tips on cooking with veggies. Your shared tips are awesome!💞🍮🍮💞

      2. Thank you! I feel like I’m always surrounded by veggies.

  23. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love beets but unfortunately I can only get red beets here although I always keep my eyes peeled 🙂 my favourite is a beet and orange smoothie 🙂

    1. I’m not sure what I think about a beet smoothie, but I’m sure the orange tames it! It would also be a real good nutrition boost in the morning.

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Its actually really nice but I love the earthiness of beets so maybe not for you, Dorothy 🤔

  24. Sherry M says:

    i am a huge beetroot fan! and i love anything citrus. Yum.

    1. Ah, then you would love these!

  25. terrie gura says:

    Oooh, I love beets any way, shape or form! Those candy stripe beets are just gorgeous; I don’t think I have ever seen those around here, but then our farmers’ market is less adventurous than what I usually see on your page.

    1. They look like regular red beets but the foliage is different, just a nice green, softer in texture and color, with no bright ribs. Happy hunting!

  26. Sowmya says:

    The dish looks beautiful, health and nutritious Dorothy

    1. Thank you Sowmya! It’s so good for you, and even it has something for everyone.

      1. Sowmya says:

        Yes indeed Dorothy. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe

      2. You are most kindly welcome!

  27. lisinmayenne says:

    That looks so beautiful! I have to confess, I love beetroot and usually grow the red and chioggia varieties but this year I’ve bought golden beet seed AND winter radish seed . . . now all I need to find are the Meyer lemons (which I’ve never heard of), then bookmark your recipe for next winter! 😉

    1. Sounds like you are all set for spring! I got my seeds earlier this week, and I’m looking forward to a couple of new (old) tomato varieties. It’s always fun to try something new each year.

  28. I like beets (although I understand the rude bleeding thing) but I love daikon! I would use it in every soup or stew except my husband is not a fan. 😕

    1. Yes, we often have to modify to keep the family happy!

      1. Don’t we though! 😂

  29. cakefiles says:

    Oh how did I miss this! I love golden beet, and I love them with lemon so this sounds great!

    1. The Meyer lemons this year have been really fat and delicious and begging to be used on everything!

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