Valentine's Day Heart Beet Patties with Pecorino Garlic Butter and Beet Greens Pesto dish on a white, porcelain plate on a linen napkin on a black background.

Heart Beet Patties with Pecorino Garlic Butter and Beet Greens Pesto

  • Author: Shanna Mallon


For the Patties:

  • 3 (12 ounces or 340 g) beets, grated (to make about 3/4 cup grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup (209 g) finely ground semolina flour
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk

For the Pecorino Garlic Butter:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 112 g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (36 g) grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup (17 g) chopped beet greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated

For the Beet Greens Pesto:

  • The remaining greens (and some stems) of 3 beets, chopped (enough to make 2 cups/76 g), plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 cup (113) walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (25 g) grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup (120 to 175 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine grated beets, salt, ginger, and pepper. Use your clean hands to work in the flour, right in the bowl, until it’s fully incorporated and the bowl is clean, with everything absorbed into the ball.
  2. Flatten it, fold in Pecorino and milk, and continue working the dough, forming it back into a ball.
  3. Next, flour a large piece of parchment paper, place the dough on top, and use a floured rolling pin to flatten it into roughly a 9″ round–emphasis on roughly here, mine looked more like a 9″ continent–that is 1/4″ thick.
  4. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to firmly cut out hearts (the dough will be stretchy and a little resistant to your taking the hearts out). Place them on the prepared parchment-lined baking sheets as you cut them out; rework dough scraps into another 1/4″-thick slab, and repeat until you have 12 hearts and/or all the dough has been used. If you have a tiny bit of scraps leftover, free form them into a shape and add them to the parchment as well.
  5. Place baking sheets in oven, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until puffed and firm. Do not over bake (this is a preference thing: if you do over bake, the hearts will be even tougher than their firm consistency, but they are still edible, no worries).
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Pecorino garlic butter, smashing them together with a spoon or your clean hands (what is it with all the hand smooshing in this recipe? fun project!). Form butter into a ball and set aside (no need to stick in the refrigerator).
  7. To make the optional pesto, which uses up all your beet greens (yay!), combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust with extra salt, lemon juice, or olive oil as you like.
  8. To serve heart beet patties, place a few warm patties on a plate, top with butter, letting it melt all over, add some of the pesto and maybe some torn beet greens as a garnish, and enjoy!