Beets: Part I - Oven Roasted Beets

>>  Sunday, November 29, 2009

There's something amazing about fresh roasted beets that I love.  Tossed with just a bit of balsamic vinegar, fresh California nuovo oilio olive oil, and coarse sea salt, it's absolutely delicious.  Beets are also really healthy.  Many people who juice for health will choose to add beet juice as part of their diet.  Beets are chock full of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C and bioflavenoids.  They also have other minerals, such as chlorine, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, and potassium.
As a vast majority of the Farmer's Markets in Boston are now closed, I went to my local Whole Foods market and picked up 6 beets + stalk!
Preheat the oven to around 400 degrees.  I scoured a bunch of recipes, and oven temperature ranged from 350 to 425.  My guess is that it doesn't matter that much, so I picked a nice in between number, which worked fine.

Cut off the stalk (save it!) and scrub the beats clean.  I used a vegetable brush, which makes the job a lot easier!
Toss the beets with some olive oil.
And wrap tightly in aluminum foil.  Roast in oven for about an hour.  The time will vary a lot depending on how big your beets are.  Mine were pretty huge, so they actually took over an hour before they were done.  You can pierce with a knife - if the knife goes in pretty easily, then the beet is done.
Remove and let cool.

Some people like to remove the skin at this point. This makes for a smoother surface. I didn't think this was necessary, and I really didn't feel like getting my hands all beet-y red, so I just left the skins on.

Chop, season toss with a balsamic vinegar, salt, and olive oil to taste. If your beets are not super sweet, you can also add a bit of sugar.  You can optionally add some cheese, a strong cheese to offset the beets, such as goat cheese or blue cheese, will work best.

Oh, and those beet greens!  Don't forget about those!  Stay tuned for Part II of the beets post! Here's Part II of the post, which discusses how to cook this nutritious vegetable!


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