Beets warrant some extreme opinions: People absolutely love them — “nature’s candy” — or can’t stand them. People in the latter camp are, of course, misguided, and this time of year, when fresh produce pickings are slim, you’re better off getting onboard with beets — which lend themselves to all sorts of interesting preparations beyond the standard goat-cheese pairing. Right now, there’s beet-infused risotto at Little Park, beets with white chocolate at Upland, and even a beet-based ketchup. These dishes will turn even the haters into — wait for it — beetlievers:
Where: The NoMad
Price: Part of the $29 lunch menu
This light vegetarian dish — with quinoa, yogurt, and cumin — is part of the restaurant’s new prix fixe menu. Follow it up with the most luxurious chicken burger ever.
One of Justin Smillie’s surprise hits is this starter, with robiola cheese, white chocolate, and seeds. (And get the fried mushroom, too.)
Where: Take Root
Price: Part of the $105 tasting menu
At this teeny-tiny gem of a restaurant, you’ll currently find an appetizer of yellow beets, kumquat, and hickory-smoked hen yolk.
Beet-Cooked Farro Salad
Where: King Bee
At this new “Acadian-inspired” East Village restaurant, chef Jeremie Tomczak pickles beets and mixes them with mirliton squash, lettuce, and buttermilk vinaigrette.
The Colonie Burger
Grub feels very strongly about Heinz, but it’s worth seeing how housemade beet ketchup tastes atop a grass-fed burger, which also comes with Cheddar, bacon, and a fried duck egg.
Anita Lo roasts various types and colors of beets, tosses them in lemon oil and selim pepper from Senegal, and serves them on a puree of roasted cashews. Garnishes include cocoa nibs, a drizzle of scallion oil, shaved raw candy-cane, and red and yellow beets.
Beets With Fried Quinoa
This critically acclaimed restaurant serves a dish of roasted and beets with five-spice, yogurt, and pumpkin seeds. Plus: There’s both steamed and fried quinoa, to add a little texture.
Roasted Beets a la Plancha
Chef Jamie Bissonnette makes red and yellow beets all nice and crispy, and pairs them with tangy labne, breadcrumbs, and salsa verde.
Where: The Little Beet Table
Everything on the menu at this new sit-down restaurant — an extension of Little Beet — happens to be gluten-free. This dish comes with Greek yogurt and pumpkin-seed-almond granola.
Where: Little Park
Don’t leave Andrew Carmellini’s newest restaurant without ordering this risotto — with tangy cheese and poppy-seeds — or the beetroot tartare, which includes smoked trout roe, rye, and horseradish.
Where: El Rey
For just $2, you can order a beet-pickled egg as a snack — but it’s even better when added to the kale salad. Chef Gerardo Gonzalez also offers a recurring special of beet borscht, which is super warm and comforting.
Where: Victory Garden
The seasonally driven market platter now includes beet hummus — as well as celery root, sweet potatoes, roasted beets, and kale. It’s the perfect healthy lunch.