Monday, October 5, 2009

Roasting Beets

If you have never had a roasted beet, you don't know what you are missing. This coming from a person who used to despise beets with a passion. The roasting really concentrates their flavor, enhances their sweetness, and gives them a toasty flavor. There really is nothing easier than roasting a beet. Beets are one of the most vitamin packed vegetables. They are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, and the tops are even more nutritious than the roots. Try different varieties - Red, Chiogga, golden or white.

Roasting Beets

To roast the beets:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Thoroughly wash each beet and wrap the beets in foil, about 2-3 per package. If you are roasting beets of different colors - roast them separately so the colors don't bleed.
  • Place foil packages on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the beet. You will know the beets are done roasting when they can easily be pierced with a fork and the skin starts to pull away from the beet.
  • Once the beets are done roasting , remove them from the aluminum foil, place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them steam to help release the skin further from the beet. Allow them to cool down to the touch, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Once cooled enough to touch, the skins can easily be peeled away. I find rubber gloves help here to prevent your hands from turning red.
Turn your roasted beets into a great marinated beet salad. This salad is great served warm, or make it ahead and refrigerate it. Add the crumbled feta right before ready to serve to prevent it from turning pink from the beets. For varied color use a mixture of yellow and red beets. For an added crunch try adding some chopped walnuts or pecans.

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

Makes 4 servings

1 lb beets, washed and scrubbed

1 small yellow onion, peeled and ends trimmed
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Remove leaves and stems from the beets, wrap beets and onion separately in foil to make 2 packages. Place foil packages on a baking sheet. Bake beets and onion in oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets are fork tender and onion is browned and caramelized.
  2. Remove beets and onion from foil and let stand for 15-20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  3. While vegetables are cooling make the vinaigrette: In a medium size bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Slowly pour in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Mix in chopped mint and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once beets have cooled to touch, remove their skins and cut them into 1 inch dices. Slice onion into strips.
  5. Toss roasted beets and onions with the vinaigrette and sprinkle crumbled feta on top and some chopped mint as garnish.
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