Crimson Jewels

February 15, 2008

It's hard to believe that these dirty looking root vegetables can transform into such tender, buttery goodness. Beets contain more sucrose than any other vegetable, which is probably why I love these sweet beauties. But they get such a bad rap. Why is that? Is it because as children we only had Grandma's canned ones? I still love those, Grandma!

There are a bevy of wonderful, and more modern, ways to eat beets today. Beet chips, roasted with other root veggies (fennel, parsnips, carrots), beet hummus, on a bed of greens with goat cheese...And, they add such gorgeous color to a meal, especially when mixed with their hybrid versions: yellow, white, pink, variegated.

Beets are water-soluble, so if boiled they will lose a lot of their beautiful crimson color, which is why I prefer them roasted. Roasting requires little effort and keeps all those sweet flavors within. No need to remove the skin, just scrub and lop off the greens.

Place cleaned beets in single layer in a roasting pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sea or Kosher salt. In a 350 degree oven roast for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until soft. When the beets are cool enough to handle, simply pull the skins off with your hands.

Roasted Baby Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

For the dressing shake in a jar the following ingredients:
1 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Toss salad greens with dressing, reserving a little. Place sliced beets on top of greens, sprinkle with goat cheese and drizzle remaining dressing on top. Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Check out Coconut & Lime's "Roasted Beet Mashed Potatoes." Delightful!



Nina's picture

I love beets. I always make them the same way though. I think next time I will try roasting them. They are so good in a salad, but I also love them along side a plate of home made mac and cheese. There is something about the beet juice turning the mac and cheese pink that I love.

pam's picture

God, I love beets. I rub them with a little olive oil, wrap them in foil, roast them in a hot oven. Then I slice them and eat them with balsamic and sea salt.