My appreciation for the mighty beet grew around the time they started to appear in my winter CSA box. Before I found them awkwardly interesting and, frankly, annoying at the same time. They are a pain to clean, they stained my hands several shades of magenta and would take hours to transform into anything edible. As more began to arrive with each bi-weekly delivery, I knew it was time to tackle my beet barriers head on.
Roasting is one of my most favorite ways to prepare root vegetables. Slice up a few carrots, toss in olive oil, a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, and I’m in heaven. The best part about roasting is after the slicing and tossing, the oven does all the work. Many articles I have read over the years recommend roasting beets as a way to concentrate their natural sweetness. Depending on the size, beets can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to reach optimal roasted perfection. But, trust me, its well worth the wait.
Here are 5 easy steps I take for roasting beets:
1: If the greens are still intact, remove them with a knife and save for another recipe. Wash the exterior of the beets using warm water and a vegetable brush. Make sure any soil trapped between the folds of the rough skin is scrubbed away before roasting. Keep the skin on the beet. It’s actually easier to remove it once the roasting process is complete.
2: Trim the top and root ends with a sharp knife. Wrap each beet in foil making sure any seams are facing up to prevent leaks. If your beets are small, wrap several in a single foil package. Some recommend adding a dab of olive oil to the foil packets before closing. I’ve found it doesn’t make much difference in flavor.
3: Add the wrapped beets to a small baking dish. I do this to prevent any spills or leaks in the oven. If you are comfortable with your foil wrapping, feel free to place the beets directly on the oven rack.
4: Roast the beets in a preheated 425 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce the middle. Remove the beets from the oven. Open the foil packages and allow them to cool enough for easy handling.
5: I recommend wearing rubber gloves when it’s time to peel the beets. They will stain your hands in a matter of minutes. Use a small paring knife and gently peel away the skin. It should fall away easily at this point. Slice the beets, place on a plate, lightly drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!