With growing interest in health and nutrition, interest in beets is on the rise but most people do not know what to do with them. Roasting beets is a wonderful entry-level skill to develop. In fact, learn to roast beets and you can use those little darlings as the base for some of the most impressive dishes you could serve. It just requires a little patience from you while the oven does the work.
Try each of these methods and find what works for you.
Roast the Whole Beet
The simplest way, and my preference, is to roast the beet whole:
- Trim the tops to within an inch of the stems. Do not cut down into the beet.
- Scrub the beet but do not peel.
- Wrap each beet in foil and seal as tightly as possible.
- Arrange the beets on a cookie sheet leaving plenty of room around each beet.
- Roast in a 375 degree oven for about an hour and a half. The time will vary depending on the size of your beets. You want each one to be easily pierced with a sharp knife.
- Remove from the oven when the beets are roasted through. Unwrap them and let them cool enough to handle.
- Peel the cooled beets. The skins should just slip off. You are now holding a cooked beet that has almost caramelized. The flavor is intense, but quite sweet.
Store the roasted beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as long as a week. They are yours to slice or cube, to use in salads, as the base of a soup, and in baked goods. You have endless possibilities in a container of roasted beets.
Roasted Beet Cubes
This approach is a little more work, but what comes out of the oven is ready to eat and it doesn’t take long for it to disappear.
- Scrub and peel the beets.
- Cut the beets into uniform cubes, as uniform as they get of course. Aim for half-inch cubes.
- Toss them with enough light olive oil (or your favorite high-heat oil) to fully coat each cube and dust with some sea salt or zaatar.
- Spread the cubes on a cookie sheet with sides, giving each cube a bit of breathing space. Do no pile the pieces on top of each other.
- Roast at 375 degrees in a preheated oven for about 55 minutes. Toss once or twice during the roasting time. The beets should be soft all the way through the cube. The outsides may be getting a bit crusted over by the time they are totally cooked.
Remove the cubes to a serving bowl or tray. They are delicious warm or at room temperature. Because they are crusted over, there is less chance that these cubes will recolor anything you mix them with.
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