Simply Healthy Family: Golden Beet Ragout ~ Italian Inspired Comfort Food


Golden Beet Ragout ~ Italian Inspired Comfort Food

Beets. The infamously dreaded root vegetable. I must admit that I pass them by at the grocer and the farmers market more often than not. Mostly, I think, it's that I'm not sure what to do with the little guys other than pickle them and put them in my salad. 

Thanks to a little contest sponsored by McCormick Gourmet asking that we come up with a recipe using 4 ingredients, one of which is beets I decided to dive in and come up with something different, pleasing to the eye and palatable even for beet haters from way back.

Go me.

Like I mentioned, pickling beets is my favorite way to enjoy this shunned veggie but I decided to try roasting them this time and then throwing them into my ragout at the last minute.


*post note to self.   Do not cut red beets on your wood cutting board next time. They bleed like a stuck pig and stain like crazy.

In the end, I decided to go with these pretty golden beets for this Ragout. Not only would they not 'bleed' into the rest of the ingredients, which wasn't really a big deal since I was using tomatoes but I could ease the kids into trying them since they looked more like sweet potatoes or squash which they like. 

So as I racked my ever increasingly boggled mind as what to make for this contest, I decided upon a humble ragout. 'Ratatouille' is one of my favorite movies you know. Not only is the little rat cute and can think on his toes but he made this poor man's dish a fashionable meal. 

The contest was to come up with a dish that used 4 ingredients: Beets, Arborio rice {which I can't pronounce to save my life}, balsamic vinegar (yum) and dried rosemary. Then incorporate other ingredients if you so please.

No problemo. 

If you have time, I'd much appreciate if you'd stop by and quickly Pin and/or 'like' my submission
Means the world to this simple girl.

SERVES    6       TIME    90 MINUTES      

1 cup dried (or 1 can) of Great Northern Beans (AKA Navy beans)
3 small beets *see notes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt (I use Pink Himalayan)
cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic or home made)
*optional fresh rosemary for garnish

2 cups cooked Arborio rice *see notes 

Putting it all together

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Scrub beets with warm water. Trim the roots and stems off. cover each loosely with foil and place in a baking dish. Bake for 60-90 minutes depending on how big your beets are.

Cook rice according to package directions. See notes for helpful hints on cooking arborio rice.

In a dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes till browned. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute reducing heat if necessary. Slowly pour in broth while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release browned bits (don't be afraid of browning on your pot, it really adds flavor).

Remove beets from oven and let cool. The skins should come off very easily using a blunt knife or spoon. Discard skins. Chop beets into small, bite size pieces.

Add beets, tomatoes, cooked beans, salt, pepper and rosemary. Stir in balsamic vinegar. 

Serve with hot rice.


Choose beets that are smaller that the size of your fist. The larger they are, the more bitter and "earthy".

Arborio rice is different to prepare than any other rice but it's worth it. Packaged rice should give you instructions but I buy bulk.  If you do as well, bring 1 1/2 cups water & 1 cup rice to a boil while stirring! (I suggest using a wooden spoon as it is non-conductive and less abrasive). Cover and recuce heat to medium. You will need to check the rice about every 3-5 minutes and stir carefully. When the water is not quite all the way absorbed (be careful, you don't want it to completely absorb as you will have sticky, gooey rice) you will slowly add 1 cup more of water and gently stir. Cook over medium heat while continuing to stir every 3-5 minutes, covered, and adding 1 more cup just before the liquid is completley absorbed. Do this 3 times for a total of 3 extra cups of liquid.

You can do this. Yes, it is worth it. Arborio rice is much loved in making risotto and goes marvelously with this ragout.



  1. Pinned :) I'm also a little (a lot) obsessed with Ratatouille!

  2. This looks incredible. My go to for beets is to roast them and serve them with crispy beet greens, but I love variety. This one is definitely going into my rotation. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That's a great idea! I usually save the greens for smoothies.

  3. I kind of dread all things beets also, but your ragout has me thinking I need to expand my root veggie horizons!

  4. A fantastic ragout, Gwen. I had some purple beetroot for the lunch.

  5. What a treat! I never can buy golden beets, and I live around the farms-( Looks irresistible!

  6. Great idea to buy arborio rice of by bulk. It can be expensive. I still have a few beets left from the this sounds great. So glad to find your blog!


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