Rainbow Beets with Hazelnuts and Basil in small glass cups

Beet Side Dish: Rainbow Beets with Hazelnuts and Basil

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side dish servings 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Italian


Intimidated by cooking beets? This simple beet side dish is the perfect starter recipe and a beautiful addition to any holiday table.



  • 1 1/2 pounds baby rainbow beets, scrubbed (See Note #1)
  • 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts (See Note #2)
  • About 7 large basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • About 12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • About 12 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the beets in a medium pot and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar until the beets are tender, about 25 minutes (large beets may take up to 45). Drain the beets and run the pot under cold water. Let the beets stand in cold water until they’re cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. If your hazelnuts still have the skins on, place the freshly-roasted nuts on one end of a kitchen towel and cover with the other end. Roll them under your palms to remove the skins. It’s okay if all the skins don’t come off.
  4. When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and set aside.
  5. Return to the beets: at this point the skins should be easy to slip off with your hands (wear gloves if you don’t want your fingers to turn red).
  6. Cut the beets into 1-inch chunks and place in a bowl. Add the basil and most of the hazelnuts, and season to taste with the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining hazelnuts.


  1. Beautiful rainbow beets can be found at the farmers market. If the farmers market isn’t practical for you, feel free to use regular supermarket beets.
  2. The hazelnuts are crucial to the success of this recipe. You can buy them pre-roasted, but roasting them yourself makes a huge difference. You can typically find raw hazelnuts at the bulk bin section of any store. Blanched raw hazelnuts are best because the skins have already been removed. If you can’t find blanched, you may remove the skins by rolling freshly roasted hazelnuts under your palms in a kitchen towel.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 179
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g

Keywords: beets, christmas, thanksgiving, hazelnuts, side dish

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