Fresh Beets From the Garden

Beets are a love-hate vegetable. People seem to be either in the “dirt” camp (hate them) or the “earthy” camp (love them). Even though my husband hates them, I love them and often roast fresh beets for myself. I add roasted beets to salads or enjoy them as a side dish. Beets are super nutritious and a great way to add more vegetables to your diet, plus they are easy to make.

Last weekend we joined friends for a casual, family dinner. I had a container of roast beets in the fridge, so I took them along to add to our salad. Being fellow beet-lovers, they were happy I’d brought them. They loved them but never made them at home, until I explained how easy they were to make.

Colorful Beets in Foil, Ready to Roast

Nutritious Beets

Beets are a good source of folate, magnesium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C and other minerals. You can always find the deep purple-red beets, often golden beets and occasionally the eye-catching, red candy-striped Chioggia.

Beets have high staining power, so handle them with care. Wear a full cover apron and have paper towels handy. I always keep a box of disposable food handler gloves in the kitchen for such uses.

How to Roast Beets

Wash the beets, then trim the leaves and stems close to the top of the beet root. Dry them with paper towels. Place a double thickness of heavy aluminum foil on the counter, place beets in the center, drizzle with oil ( I use olive oil) and wrap them into a tightly sealed packet.

Roast beets at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until you can pierce them through with a sharp paring knife. Timing will depend on the size of the beets. When the beets are tender, remove them from the oven and cool until you can handle them.

Rubbing the Skins off Roast Beets

To remove the skins, rub the skins off with paper towels until the beet is smooth. If you have disposable food handler gloves, wear them to prevent your hands from staining. If you don’t have gloves, scrub your hands with soap and water right away and most of the stain should come off.

Serving Ideas – Salads or Side Dish

Cut the cooled beets into quarters and refrigerate them for 4-5 days. Add to salads or enjoy as a side dish. My favorite salad is roast beets on tossed greens with a light vinaigrette and a little goat cheese. Orange segments, a sprinkle of pine nuts and some fresh chopped mint leaves add beautiful color and flavor.

To serve roast beets as a side dish, sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and drizzle with a little good olive oil, salt and pepper.You can also make a vinaigrette with a title Dijon mustard to toss the beets with. The mustard is a great addition.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets

How to Roast Beets

Beets become sweet when roasted and are wonderful as a side dish or added to salads.  If you enjoy dairy, roast beets are delicious with goat cheese, orange segments, a sprinkle of pine nuts and a little chopped fresh mint. Serve on their own or atop salad greens or with micro greens.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 small beets or 3 large ones (red, gold or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees (204 C). Trim off the beet leaves and stems, if there are any. Scrub beets under running water and dry them well with paper towels.
  2. Place a double thickness of heavy aluminum foil on the counter, large enough to hold the beets. Place beets in the center, drizzle with oil, and wrap tightly. Place packet in the oven and roast until a sharp paring knife easily pierces the beets through to the center. Test beets at 45 minutes. Continue about 15 minutes longer if needed. Timing will depend on the size of the beets.
  3. Remove beet packet from the oven and cool. When cool enough to handle, unwrap and cut beets into quarters or smaller pieces. Beets will last 4-5 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Serving ideas: Add beets to a tossed green salad with goat cheese (skip for vegans). Add orange segments, pine nuts, and chopped mint leaves for more color and flavor. Dress with a light vinaigrette made with olive oil and white Balsamic vinegar or Champagne vinegar.

To serve beets as a side dish, sprinkle with chopped chives and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Helpful Links:

All about beets and nutrition

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Madonna October 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I always hated beets until I tasted them roasted. Now I love them with goat cheese. I had only known them as canned before and thought them inedible. The person that came up with the canning method has a lot of explaining to do. Thanks for another keeper.

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2 Debbie Burgess October 8, 2012 at 4:42 am

This is the way I do my beets. They are unbelievably sweet when roasted. I like your recipe, too.

Another yummy thing to do is saute the greens and plate them up with warm sliced beets over top. Dress with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of really good balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle some pepitas over the salad for a bit of textural contrast (crunch). There; you now have a Warm Beet Salad with Chevre and Balsamic Vinegar.

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3 Michelle K October 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Madonna, your comment really got me laughing; and I agree!

Very timely recipe Sally as I just this week got 2 batches of beets in my organic veggie box. It will be my first time roasting them, and I look forward to following your recipe and tips, thank you!

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4 Jamie October 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

I start with the olive oil and salt then add a table spoon or two of Balsamic Glaze, it really brings out the sweetness of the beets.

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5 Sally October 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Agreed Jamie! The balsamic syrup is nice with the beets. If you eve need to make it try the recipe http://afoodcentriclife.com/strawberries-with-balsamic-reduction/

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