Please Take Notes: This Seared Scallops Recipe Uses Beets and Beet Greens

I have a lesson about beets and beet greens. Sure the lesson is disguised in a recipe for Seared Scallops with Roasted Beets, Sautéed Beet Greens, Citrus Gremolata & Horseradish Cream. But I figure a spoonful of scallops helps the beet greens go down (in the most delightful way).

Pencils and papers out please and give me all your attention, because there is also a wine pairing. WillaKenzie Pinot Gris 2009.

 But, let’s begin by saying you are at the grocery store, okay? You grab a cart with one broken wheel (naturally) and wind your way through the aisles somehow avoiding that nice Mrs. Johnson who always manages to run her cart over your foot when she wheels over to say hello.

Let’s say you safely steer clear of the candy aisle and arrive in the produce section. You decide you are in the mood for something healthy, delicious and fresh. So you spend what little free time you have today really checking out what’s available and let’s say you chose a perfectly ripe, red apple.

Then you make your way to the check out and get stuck behind cell phone guy and his very public conversation about his “effin wife” and her ugly divorce proceedings. His third and final credit card somehow finally gets approved and he pays for his Lamisil and gets out of your way (with a look over his shoulder like you’re the one with the problem).

WillKenzie Wine Pairing from Sippity SupThen after three price-checks and lots of rolled eyes from the people behind you, you hand over your hard-earned cash to pay for that apple, packing it up and taking it to the car. Once you bully your way out of the parking lot and make that nearly impossible left turn into rush hour traffic, you spend 45 stressful minutes driving 2.75 miles to your house (let’s say you live in Los Angeles).

You get home and you carefully wash that beautiful apple. Then you pull out your very best, perfectly sharpened knife and you cut that apple precisely in half. You wrap one half in an ugly old piece of plastic wrap and toss it into the refrigerator vegetable bin. The other half you promptly dump into the garbage pail.

Why would you do that? Well, I bet right now you are rolling your eyes and screaming loudly into your monitor ‚ “I wouldn’t do that, Greg!”

Well if that’s true why do you do it with beets? I’ve seen you do it so don’t deny it. I have worked so hard here at Sippity Sup trying to get you to eat beets. Sure I have to pair them with scallops to get you to look twice. But still, I thought we were making real progress. I have seen some lovely roasted beet salads working their way across the blogosphere.

That makes me happy. In fact my seared scallops are served with batons of roasted beets. I tossed them in a citrus gremolata and also have a great horseradish cream to drizzle on the plate. The flavors are bit reminiscent of Borscht, and it’s a perfect pairing with the succulent scallops.

But what about the greens? Did you think they were poisonous? Beet greens are food. We don’t throw perfectly good food in the garbage. Even Richie Rich knows better than that! So I sautéed mine and gave them another nice pinch of horseradish.


  • roasted beets1 bn beets (8 small or 4 large) with the greens
  • 2 T olive oil, divided, plus more for scallops
  • 2 T water
  • salt and pepper, as needed
  • 2 T flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 T tangerine zest
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 4 t prepared horseradish, divided
  • 1⁄2 c crème fraîche
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 12 large “dry” sea scallops

Roast the beets: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill a large bowl with water. Cut the greens off each beet, leaving about 1‑inch of stem. Put the greens into the bowl of water to wash them thoroughly. Remove them from the water and pat dry with paper towels. Place beets themselves on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 scallops with beets and horseraish from sippity suptablespoons water over them. Season with salt and pepper. Cover each baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast beets until tender when pierced with a small knife, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven; let cool. Trim the root and stem ends of each beet, then rub the beets to remove skin. Cut beets into 1/2‑inch-thick slices, crosswise. Then cut each slice each again lengthwise to form 1/2‑inch batons. Move the beets to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Mix parsley, about half the minced shallot and citrus zest in small bowl for gremolata. Set aside.

Slice the clean, dry beet greens crosswise into 1/2‑inch ribbons. Include the veins and most of the stems too.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the greens. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until just wilted, and still brightly colored, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish. Set aside.

Prepare the scallops: Heat the barest slick of olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat until very hot but not quite smoking. Add the scallops in batches to avoid crowding. Cook the scallops undisturbed on one side about 3 minutes until a nice golden crust forms. Flip them over and cook an additional minute or two until they are barely translucent in the center.

Prepare the sauce: In a small skillet, combine the remaining minced shallot with the horseradish, crème fraîche and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until the crème fraîche is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

Finish the dish: Mound a small pile of the sauteed beets greens on each of 4 plates. Toss the beet batons with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper and about half of the gremolata. Toss well. Mound the dressed beets attractively half on and half off the pile of beet greens. Top all of this with 3 or 4 scallops per plate. Sprinkle with the remaining gremolata and a drizzle of the warm horseradish cream. Serve immediately.


Greg Henry


beets and beet greens