Baked beets


I get cravings for the oddest things sometimes. A few days ago, the craving was for beets. Surely beets are one of the top 10 "eww" foods, especially for kids, and for quite a few adults too.

I think the "eww" stems mostly from experiences with bad beets. Especially flavorless, canned beets that one encounters in salads, or the dreaded pickled beets. Beets have a faintly metallic taste, and I think that pickling amplifies that metallic characteristic to the point of obnoxiousness. The other thing that makes beets a scary food is, well, what happens a few hours or so after you've eaten a good quantity of them, and exits your other end. Let's face it, purple in your toilet bowl is sort of scary.

Regardless though, fresh beets can be really nice, especially when they are just baked or roasted whole. Roasting them seems to enhance their sweet nature. Simply trim off the leaves (you can eat these separately if you like, stir-fried or in a salad if they are really fresh), wash the root carefully without peeling the skin, and wrap it in foil. It's nice if you wrap them like they were big pieces of candy, as you see in the photo. Put in an oven with whatever else you are roasting or baking for at least 45 minutes. Serve them wrapped in the foil, and have each person peel the skin off - it slips right off when the beets are piping hot. Be sure there is salt, pepper, butter and crème fraîche around. You can also eat them plain- they are quite sweet enough - in which case they become a filling yet low-fat etc. virtuous food.

Filed under:  vegetables

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I like beets. ^_^ Was always fun playing with the pickled beets water on the napkins........Hahaha.

Haven't had baked beets though. Is it similar (somewhat) to grilled sweet potatoes?

My "eww" food is probably brussel sprouts. My mother did not know how to cook those, so she boiled them.

I loved beets when I was a kid, too. The first time I had them was at a salad bar, actually, and something about the color and consistency enthralled me. I loved how everything else on my plate took on a pinkish tinge too.

Roasted beets, though, are on a whole other plane. Simply heaven, they are.

Right now my fave beet recepie is this simple marinade:

Pugliese Beet Salad with Fresh Mint
(from Dean & Deluca Cookbook)

2 lbs beets, unpeeled
1 T. + 1 t. red-wine vinegar
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
2 t. coarse salt
1 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. shredded fresh mint

Bring large pot of salt water to boil, cook beets until fork tender (about 30 minutes for small beets). Remove and let cool. Remove skins and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper together in bowl. Add beets and toss. Gently fold mint into mixture. Serve room temperature. (T=Tablespn; t=teaspn)

My local farmers market has huge golden beets almost year round - they are tasty, don't stain, and well, you don't have that "back end" issue mentioned above.

I just made this recipe and am eating it right now. Dee-lish! Thank you for passing it on.

I stumbled upon this site because I just had a craving for baked beets and wanted to find out how long to leave them in for... I loooove beets, even canned ones! I haven't tried golden beets, but that's on my list too! The odd thing is, I have never even tried baked beets, they just seemed like a good idea :)

It's not the fault of the beet but the cook! Never let any food come in contact with aluminum foil ever - anytime. It will leech into your food and therefore be ingested into your body.

I wrap my food first in parchment paper then if I need to use foil - in case I'm grilling - I can.

I just bake them straight up, no need for foil. They shrink in their skins, which is cool. Then again, I like them more baked than steamed (which is what happens in foil), and like the nuttiness that comes out.

I get cravings for beets very often, same with anything pickled.

I will definatly have to try out this recipe, never had baked beets before, just always canned or pickled.

Are baked beets freezer friendly? They seem like they would be. What would be the best way to reheat, just microwave?

These sound soo good. I will be using them as bento fillers.

Cool! I wanted something easy for dinner tonight and just bought two huge fresh organic beets. I crave these so much when I am mineral deficcient, because they are so full of good organic minerals. I love raw beets, but to avoid having to chop these giant beets. I thought I would try baking them whole. I washed them, poked them a little and slathered them with a bit of olive oil, and stuck them straight in the oven without tin foil or anything(how I bake all my potatoes). Then I googled baked beets to make sure It was going to work, lol. I am so glad I stumbled across your site, and I can't wait to eat them!