Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gimme a Beet....nik! The hip sweet flavors of Beets

I love roasted beets.  Beets can be prepared many different ways - boiling, steaming and even microwaving if you can believe that.  However, my favorite way to cook beets is by roasting them.

Roasted beets are much more intensely flavored.   Roasting brings out the earthy sweetness of the root vegetable unlike other cooking techniques.  And you do not lose any of the wonderful beet juice as you do with steaming and boiling.  

Many people don't know this, but beets come in a large variety of colors.  The colors range from a deep, deep purple, to vibrant reds, pinks, yellows and white.  Some varieties even have beautiful stripes and are oftentimes called Candy Striped Beets.

Each beet variety has its own delicious sweet flavor. However, my true favorite has to be the traditional deep purple beets we’re all so familiar with. 

Roasted beets are pretty versatile.  Even the beet greens, if young and tender, may be eaten.  Baby beet greens are delicious in salads and are often times included in the bagged organic salad mixes on supermarket shelves today. 

Beets are essential in a Summer Borscht and make a fantastic side dish such as in Roasted Beets with an Orange Vinaigrette.  Roasted Beets, Arugula and Orange Supreme salad is another fantastic way to showcase beets.

However, my all time favorite Roasted Beets, Baby Spinach and Maytag Blue Cheese.  I absolutely get weak in the knees thinking about this combination.

Since roasting is a technique, I don’t have a recipe to share with you today.  I guess I could share my recipe for Beets and Blue Cheese, but I think I'll save that for another day... and another post.  Today, I thought I'd share my technique for roasting this delicious root vegetable.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Remove the greens and the pointy stem part of the beets and wash under cold water  (Using a scrub brush will ensure proper removal of dirt from the beets)
  • Dry the beets with paper towels
  • Place one beet on a sheet of aluminum foil and dowse slightly with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Wrap the beet in the aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan
  • Repeat above steps with remainder beets
  • Place the sheet pan in the preheated oven and roast for 30-75 minutes depending on the size of your beets

Approximate roasting times:

Small beets – 30-45 minutes
Medium beets – 45-60 minutes
Large beets – 60-75 minutes

Begin testing for doneness.  Beets will be done when somewhat soft when squeezed and a knife can be easily inserts easily into the beet with little resistance. 

Remove from oven.  Unwrap aluminum foil to allow steam to escape. Cool

Once cooled, remove skins with the back of a knife.  Skins should remove easily at this point.

Slice off root end of beet and slice or dice beet as desired.


I hope you try roasting beets.  If you have never roasted beets before and like variety in the can or jar, you'll LOVE this these.  

Roasted beets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.  However, once you’ve tried these beets, they will not last that long. 

Roasted Beets, it’s what’s for dinner.

Cheers,  Brad

1 comment:

  1. I love any and all beets. Roasted beets are so yummy!! I also love Harvard beets - try them if you haven't. The leftover sauce is perfect beety sweet n sour sauce for egg rolls or crab puffs.