People say they don’t like beets, but what they mean is they don’t like pickled beets. Pickled beets, the ones in the canned vegetable aisle, have a particular taste. They’re sweet, but more than anything, they radiate that unmistakable pickled taste. Roasted beets are nothing like that.
Roasted beets are sweet. Some of their edges are caramelized. Cooked with kosher salt, they have a salty crunchiness, and they have the beautiful undertone of olive oil.
Roasted beets are the perfect food. Their subtle sweetness is paired perfectly with feta in salads, or with herbed cream cheese on sweet corn fritters or on burgers if you’re in the Antipodes or if you’re me.
Here is how you roast beets. First, and this is important, change clothes. Change into something you don’t care about getting ruined. There’s a reason beets have been used as dye for thousands of years. Oh, and turn your oven on to 400.
I got orange beets and then forgot to cook them. A few weeks later, I got red beets. The orange beets were a little mushy, but they were fine to cook. Beets are low maintenance and forgiving like that.
Give the beets a good scrub with the brush you use to scrub potatoes.
Cut off the heads and the tails. The tails are the rat tail looking root thing.
Aren’t they so pretty!
Cut them into halves or quarters…or smaller if you want. I was in a hurry, so I cut them in sixths. The smaller they are, the faster they cook. If you cut them in half, they’ll take an hour to an hour and a half, or so. Cut into sixths, they took about 30 minutes.
Drizzle them with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, and then wrap them up good and tight in foil.
This step is important. Put your foil-wrapped pouches into a pan. They can sometimes leak, and an oven full of burning beet juice is not a happy oven.
Let them roast. If you’ve cut them up, check them after 30 minutes or so. A knife should go in with minimal resistance.
Cut off the skins. (The orange beets’ skins caramelized, so I left them on. I’m not sure if that’s okay, but I didn’t die, so I guess it was fine. Just be sure to give them a really good scrub at the beginning).
PS – pardon the blurry picture. By this time, my guests had arrived. I was cooking and entertaining and taking pictures of my food. Thankfully, it was my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who came over. And they already know that I’m weird.
And voila! Roasted beets.
They’ll change your life. Oh and public service announcement: if you eat a lot of red beets in a short period of time, they’ll change everything that comes out of you magenta. Everything. Sorry for the TMI, but the first time I ate a lot of beets, I thought that I was dying. And I don’t want that to happen to you.
- 1 bunch ofbeets
- Generous drizzle of Olive OIl
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub, head and tail and cut beets into halves, quarters or sixths, depending on how much time you have to cook the beets.
- Wrap part way in foil. Drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Wrap foil the rest of the way so the beets are completely enclosed. Place package in a cookie sheet to catch any possible spills, and place in the oven.
- Roast at 400 degrees until a knife goes in easily - a minimum of 30 minutes for small cuts of beets. Up to an hour and a half for whole or halved beets.
- Enjoy on salads, burgers or as a side!