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Beetroot leaf tart

Updated: Tue, 18 July, 2023

Beetroot leaf tart, made with sautéed beetroot greens atop an enriched pizza dough base is a double frugality: use those beetroot greens and the dough ball languishing in the freezer!

beetroot leaf tart

Waste not, want not

Fighting food waste is a noble cause supported by many celebrity chefs. The strategy of eating an animal ‘from nose to tail’, popularised by chef Fergus Henderson is a commendable approach we should practise more.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on the other hand published a whole cookbook with recipes for dishes made from leftovers, including fish bones.

I’d probably draw a line there, nor should I be too keen to eat onion peels, but there are perfectly good, tasty and nutritious foodstuffs that we mindlessly chuck away: beetroot leaves.

beetroot leaf tart

Culinary potential of beetroot leaves

Beetroot is a versatile vegetable that enjoys a respected status in the culinary world. While the root itself is commonly used in various dishes, beetroot leaves often go unnoticed.

What might be news to you, these often discarded leaves possess incredible nutritional value and can add a unique touch to a wide range of dishes.

Beetroot leaves, also referred to as beet greens, are rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium. They are also a great source of dietary fibre and contain beneficial antioxidants.

For some strange reason spinach and chard are well-rooted in the recipe world while beet leaves, even though they can be used and enjoyed in the same way, are left by the wayside (of the market stall).

baby beet greens beetroot leaf tart

What to do with beetroot leaves?

Obviously, the new season small and tender beetroot tops are the best and they can even be used raw in salads, just like baby spinach leaves.

Otherwise they need to be washed thoroughly, dried with paper towels or in a salad spinner and cooked.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy beetroot leaves is to sauté or stir-fry them, similarly to spinach or chard.

Incorporating them into soups and stews adds depth and a unique earthy flavour. Chop the leaves and add them during the final stages of cooking to retain their colour and texture.

They work well in hearty vegetable soups or traditional recipes like borscht, a popular Eastern European beetroot soup. In fact, Poles make a spring version of borscht with just the beetroot leaves, stems and those tiny baby heads clinging to them when picked very early.

The French also use betterave verdure like chard or spinach and in Corsica they make lovely pies with beet greens filling.

And the recipe below is another suggestion: sautéed beetroot leaves, seasoned simply with garlic, a little honey and a little vinegar make a wonderful topping for a tart.

beetroot leaf tart

How to sauté beetroot leaves

They are a little thicker than spinach, especially if somewhat overgrown, so will benefit from blanching.

Drained, squeezed to get rid of moisture, and roughly chopped, they only need tossing with butter or olive oil and seasoning. They will cook some more when baked on top of the tart.

cooking beetroot greens

Tart base variations

My recipe uses a homemade or shop-bought pizza dough ball, enriched with grated Cheddar cheese and olive oil, kneaded into the dough ball.

Shortcrust pastry, a savoury pie crust can also be used, with or without any cheesy embellishments in that instance.

And for the ultimate shortcut and a dish ready within minutes you can use a sheet or a round of good puff pastry, pricked with a fork all over and brushed with beaten egg. In this case skip the pan-on-the-hob step and slip it straight into the oven.

base for beetroot leaf tart

More savoury tart recipes

Caramelised leek and Cheddar tart on shortcrust pastry, homemade or shop bought, is a fabulous, easy dish, as good to serve warm as it is cold.

Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bough dough is OKAY.

Crostata or galette is a sweet or savoury open, rustic pie. This one is a tomato crostata with honey and thyme flavour on flaky pastry made from scratch, with a sneaky cheese addition.

beetroot leaf tart

More beetroot recipes

Beetroot and horseradish cured salmon, aka gravadlax, gets the fantastic colour from the beet. Cured salmon is really easy to prepare and it needn’t be made in huge quantities - but it will disappear sooner than you think!

Beetroot gratin, thinly sliced beets baked in garlic and dill infused cream is a gorgeous side to a fish course. No need to pre-cook the beetroot.

Raw beetroot salad with a simple dressing; a healthy fresh salad with sliced chioggia beetroot, grated cheese and lots of fresh herbs. Easy side or a healthy lunch dish.

beetroot leaf tart

beetroot leaf tart

Servings: 2-4Time: 30 minutes plus making dough


  • 500g (1 pound) beetroot leaves, stripped off stems
  • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (green if available)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and black pepper
  • 200g (7oz.) pizza dough
  • 50g (4 tbsp) Cheddar or Gruyere cheese, grated


1. Wash the beetroot leaves well and bring to the boil in a pan of water. Simmer for a minute, drain into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water to stop them from cooking further. Squeeze the moisture out of the leaves and chop them roughly.

2. Peel and thinly slice the garlic.

3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and cook gently for a minute or two until softened. Add the vinegar and honey and let the mixture bubble and emulsify. Add the beetroot leaves to the pan, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Roll out the pizza dough to a round. Sprinkle with a third of the grated cheese and drizzle with a third of the remaining olive oil. Knead the oil and cheese into the dough, then repeat with another third of the cheese and oil.

5. Roll or stretch out the dough to roughly the size of your largest skillet or frying pan.

6. Place the pan, dry, over high heat. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8.

7. Transfer the dough onto the hot pan on a rolling pin. Keep it over high heat while you scatter the remaining cheese over the tart, the beet leaves with the juices and a drizzle of oil.

8. Transfer the pan with the tart into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges colour golden.

9. Slide it off the skillet onto a board, slice with a pizza wheel and serve warm or cold.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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