Roasted Beets

Ever since tasting my first beet at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco during the summer of 2005, I’ve ordered them time and again whenever they appeared on a restaurant’s menu. Beets are so naturally sweet and appealing that most places prepare them very simply, with rich crumbles of goat cheese and a light vinaigrette. Every time I dug into one of these minimally fussed salads, I thought of how easy it would be to replicate the dish at home. I finally tried my hand at preparing beets in my own kitchen last week, and not only was it gloriously easy, but my hands weren’t the least bit stained.

This recipe for roasted beets comes from the most popular cookbook in my home, the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. When buying beets, look for bunches of uniformly sized beets so that they will roast for the same amount of time. If the beets are different sizes, remove the smaller ones from the oven as they become tender. Use this basic recipe as a starting point; the variations (Think: cheeses, herbs, nuts, vinegars) are deliciously endless.

  • 4 medium beets (1 pound), greens discarded and scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in foil (photo 2) and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until a skewer can be inserted easily into a beet, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the beets from the oven, open the foil packets, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. To peel, cradle a roasted beet in several layers of paper towels in your hands and gently rub off the skin (photos 3 and 4).

Slice the beets 1/4 inch thick, then toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

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14 Responses to “Roasted Beets”

  • perfect! i was looking for how-to for beets this evening and here you are… thanks cathy.

  • Yum! I can’t wait to roast my own beets… and then toss them with some quinoa! 😉

  • roasted beets are great and so easy, buying from a can is not even an option. even fresh raw beets, thinly sliced is great too

  • BEETS…I love them so much, especially roasted. I could eat a whole bowl plain, but they are also really good in a quinoa salad with feta and mint. (Tell Diana!) In the summer I also got into making a raw beet salad, just shredded and and tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper. So easy and refreshing! Roasty beets are more autumnal though.

  • Food confession: I hated beets as a child when my mom made it. I find the sweetness out of place. Now, I try to give it a chance. I wouldn’t say I love it, but I can tolerate it!

  • I guess beets are not big in Viet cuisine, so I was also a late beet eater. Awesome in salads … a little burrata, some greens … yum!

  • Alejandro won’t eat beets. He swears he doesn’t like them, but I think he just hasn’t had them prepared the right way. I bet he would love this!

  • Oh, what a nice *clean* way to prepare beets! I never was a fan but after trying a roasted one at a restaurant, yeah, that was rather good. Will try this!

  • I love beets, too (good to know it’s a big crowd of beet-lovers here). When I roast them I scrub off the skins under running water. It washes them away and keeps my hands from being stained. You can also let them cool and just plop the foil packs in the fridge for a couple of days, getting them out as necessary.

    Once, for a party, I made a huge platter of gorgeous beets: yellow, striped, pink, deep blood red. No one ate them but me! Wah.

  • No, No, No! Do not discard the greens of the beets – if the truth were known, there is more nutrition in them than in the beet roots! And they are delicious!

  • I love beets prepared that way (with goat cheese and vinaigrette) and have been seeing them in the markets… greatly inspiring post!

  • LOVE beets! The more simple, the better. And Logan does the beet greens in a risotto – turns everything agreeably pink!

  • I love beets!!! I ate a lot of it growing up, they didn’t seem to be too popular in the states until recent years! which is awesome!

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