21 October 2010

roasted beets

Poor beets. Beets get a bad rap. Most people I talk to say, "Ew, beets. They taste like dirt!"

I don't think they taste like dirt. I think they are smooth and creamy and yummy. They do require a bit of scrubbing to remove the dirt, but once that is done, any taste of dirt should be eliminated.

My absolute favorite way to eat beets is roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Actually, I think all vegetables are better this way. Add some Parmesan cheese and crusty bread, and it would make a lovely lunch.

Oh, and if you haven't tried sea salt yet, give it a shot. I thought it was all snooty hype, but I find myself reaching for the sea salt more than any other variety. I just love getting the occasional crunchy burst of salt from the large grains.

Back to roasting beets. It's simple.
  • Scrub your beets. (I used two golden beets and one traditional red beet.) Scrub them until your arms are sore. Every centimeter. Really. Don't skimp here.
  • Place them on a sheet of foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  •  Wrap up the beets, seal the foil, and place on a baking sheet.
  • Roast at 400° for a while. Exact time depends on the size of your beets. Small beets could be done in 20 minutes, larger ones may take 40 minutes or even more. They should be softened, but still fairly firm. I didn't try this, but I would guess that a knife would slip in with little resistance when the beets are fully cooked.
  • Unwrap and allow the beets to cool a bit.
  • Once the beets are cool enough to hold, trim off the ends and peel off the skin. The skin may come off easily, or you may need to use a vegetable peeler. (There are some great photos and instructions here and here.)
  • Once peeled, slice into wedges, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

How do you feel about beets?