Technique: Roasted Beets

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables, although I totally understand that they are not for everyone!  I personally like the earthy sweetness, the different colors that they come in (have you seen the candy-stripe beets before? So pretty!), and the nutrition that they pack.  We have been collecting beets in our fridge from our last few farm box pick-ups, so I wanted to share my go-to way to prepare beets when you have them – roasting.

Roasted beets take a little time, but this method maximizes the sweetness and results in a very versatile product, with beets that will be ready for salads, pickles, or snacking at a moment’s notice.  All you need is a knife, oven, and some foil to make this work – along with about 2 hours of hands-off cooking time.  I try to make big batches if possible, so this is a great meal prep option for beets all week.

Steps and pictures below!

  1. Remove leaves from the beet roots.  Use a pairing knife to clean up the beet a bit by removing the tips of the root from the bottom, and cutting the beet stems off as close to the top of the beet root as possible.
    1. I usually clean up the beets under running water in the sink.  It helps the beet juice run into the drain and not into your hands, therefore reducing staining.
  2. Scrub beets thoroughly to remove any dirt and grit.
  3. Lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Pile your beets into the middle of the foil, keeping everything in a close single layer, if possible.  Wrap beets tightly in the foil to form a packet, ensuring there is no open space at the top of the packet.
    1. If the foil doesn’t go all the way around the beets in the first layer, add a second layer to ensure that they are fully enclosed.  This will allow the beets to steam and heat through properly in the oven.
    2. Note that the greens are also edible, and can be used in place of Swiss chard or kale in cooking!
  4. Place the beet packet directly on the rack of the oven, and set the oven to 350F.  Roast for about and hour and a half to two hours, depending of the size of the beets and the amount of beets that you are making (bigger beets take longer to cook through).
    1. Make sure you place the packet facing up in the oven to prevent any leakage.  You can also put a baking tray on the rack below the beets to prevent any leaks or drips onto your oven during the cooking time.
  5. Check the beets for done-ness by carefully peeling back the foil and inserting a fork into one of the larger beets.  If the beet is tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool wrapped in the packet.  If the beet is still firm, continue cooking in the oven for up to 30 minutes longer.
  6. Once beets are cool to the touch, remove from packet and run under cold water to ensure that the beets are fully cooled.  Refrigerate and store for future use!


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