Let me open this post by acknowledging that some people just don’t like beets. I get it. Especially if your only experience with beets comes out of a can or jar. But fresh, oven roasted beets, especially served with contrasting flavors and textures, such as nuts and cheese, are really delish.
My own first experience with beets involved my father making borscht, which is a clear beet soup popular in Eastern Europe. It was a lot of work on his part, served to a largely unappreciative audience. More recently, I tried several beet salads at restaurants, which convinced me that I could like beets if they were prepared a certain way.
My all-out favorite is simply roasted beets, sliced thinly and served with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with some crumbled Bulgarian (or other sheep’s milk) feta cheese. But I’m doing a no-dairy stint at the moment, so the cheese was out.
A beet and apple salad at Whole Foods inspired me to try this recipe, which has a citrus dressing. It is topped with roasted nuts – walnuts, cashews, pecans or pine nuts all will serve well.
Here are three tips I learned about working with beets:
- Roasting is great. Just chop off the tops, which can be used in something else, and wash. Place several (depends on the size, but try to find like sizes) in a packet of foil with a drizzle of olive oil. Leave the skin on. Seal. Place in a pan in case your foil leaks. Roast at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes. It may be 90 minutes depending on how big your beets are. Allow to cool.
- To remove the skin, take a paper towel and just rub. This will remove the skin and keep your hands from turning pink in the process.
- Use a plastic cutting board that you can clean with bleach or be prepared to have a stained cutting board.