Monday, July 25, 2016

How to Roast Beets in the Oven

Since beets are a root vegetable, they really benefit from roasting. It makes them really sweet and delicious, and with just a little bit of prep work, you can roast a whole bunch of them and then keep them in your fridge to eat all week long. 

I have always been so nervous to cook beets at home, because they are such a red juicy mess. I was afraid that as soon as I brought them home, they would just start staining every thing that they touched. But honestly, doing them this way was hardly any mess at all. Nothing was stained, and I was so pleased with the results that I bought two more bunches to cook again and eat this week. 

For Equipment you'll need :

As many as you are wanting to roast
A knife to trim them and then to peel them
Heavy Duty Aluminum foil or twice as much regular aluminum foil
a cookie sheet or roasting pan 


Heat the oven to 400°F. This is a flexible cooking temperature; if you're using the oven for cooking something else, beets can be cooked at that temperature. Beets will cook more slowly at lower temperature and more quickly at higher temperatures. At higher temperatures, check more frequently for burning. ** This means it is great to throw a few beets in while you are cooking chicken for dinner or a roast - It is like that whole second rack was just made for filling up with beets. 

Slice off the beet leaves close to the tip of the beet, leaving yourself enough to grip. Save the beet greens for another purpose. Scrub the beets thoroughly, then wrap them loosely in foil. No need to dry the beets before wrapping. Small beets can be wrapped together, but it's easiest to roast large beets individually.

If you are using Heavy Duty aluminum foil, you'll only need 1 piece that is one sheet thick, but if you are using regular foil, you'll want to use two sheets stacked on top of each other. 

Also, I wrap mine into a "bowl" shape, so that I don't have beet juice running all over the cookie sheet. I don't close the top, because I don't want the beets to steam, I like them to open dry roast. 

Put all your wrapped beets on a baking sheet (for easy transferring in and out of the oven and also to catch drips in case the beet juices leak)

Roast for 50-60 minutes. Check the beets every 20 minutes or so. If they are starting to look dry or are scorching on the bottoms, dribble a tablespoon of water over the beets.

Beets are done when a fork or skewer slides easily to the middle of the beet. Small beets will cook more quickly than large beets.

Let the beets cool down enough to handle. 

Hold one of the beets in a paper towel and use your sharp knife to peel the skin away.  

The skin should peel away easily; if it doesn't, the beets likely need to cook for a little longer. I have read that some people just rub the skin off with a paper towel, but that didn't work for me. 

This is as stained as my fingers got even after chopping all those cooked beets into cubes. Any my knife and cutting board cleaned right up with dish soap and water. 

I went ahead and stored them in a glass container, since I wasn't sure if they would stain a plastic one.
We really liked having beets in the fridge to add to salads. I even warmed up a few for the kids for lunch one day, they thought they were alright.